Amazon will shut its Kindle e-bookstore in China next year, according to a statement posted to its official WeChat account on Thursday.
The Kindle China e-bookstore will stop selling digital products from June 30 next year, the firm said, although customers will be able to continue downloading any purchased books for one year beyond that.
At a regular press conference on Thursday, Gao Feng, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, responded to this matter, saying, “We have noticed that Amazon has just announced the closure of its e-book business in China. Objectively speaking, as the second largest consumer market in the world with rapid development, China sees a great need for speed in the upgrade of products and services. For all kinds of market players, including foreign-funded enterprises, it is a normal phenomenon in a market economy to adjust their products and services according to market development. “
Gao added, “On the whole, China continues to maintain a strong attraction to foreign investment. From January to April, 2022, the amount of foreign capital used in China was 478.61 billion yuan ($71.7 billion), up 20.5% year-on-year. In particular, the investment from the United States in China increased by 53.2%. China continues to welcome investors from all over the world and continue to increase investment in our country.”
In December 2012, Amazon’s Chinese website officially launched a domestic Kindle e-bookstore, allowing users to directly purchase Chinese content. At the beginning of its operation, the store launched tens of thousands of e-books. With the development of the internet, reading habits have changed greatly, and the proportion of e-books increased year by year. In 2016, China became the largest market for Kindle device sales in the world.
However, the competition Kindle was facing in China increased rapidly. Chinese shopping platforms and social media software such as JD.com, Dangdang and WeChat have all launched their own e-book businesses.
As early as the beginning of 2022, news that Kindle would eventually withdraw from the Chinese market emerged. The official Kindle customer service said at that time that it had not received such notices. Consumers could still use Kindle normally and access after-sales services. However, the official Taobao store of Kindle has been closed. The flagship store on JD.com and all offline physical stores are also shut down. These are all signs that Kindle’s business in China is about to stop.