Amazon to close its online store in China

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    Amazon has announced that it is closing its online store in China after struggling to gain a foothold in the world's most populous nation.

    The US e-commerce giant will shut its

    China marketplace by 18 July.

    JD.com and Alibaba controlled 82% of the Chinese e-commerce market last year, according to iResearch Global, making it difficult for Amazon to gain traction.

    Amazon's decision means it will no longer operate a marketplace nor provide seller services through Amazon.cn, with the company focusing on selling overseas goods and cloud services instead.

    A spokeswoman said: "We are working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to deliver the best customer experience possible.

    "Sellers interested in continuing to sell on Amazon outside of China are able to do so through Amazon Global Selling."

    Chinese consumers will still be able to make purchases through Amazon's stores in other countries.

    Image:Amazon has struggled to compete in China's e-commerce market

    Ker Zheng, marketing specialist at Shenzhen-based e-commerce consultancy Azoya, said Amazon had no major competitive advantage in China.

    He said that, unless someone wanted a specific imported product they could not get elsewhere, "there's no reason for a consumer to pick Amazon because they're not going to be able to ship things as fast as [Alibaba's] Tmall or JD".

    Even Alibaba and JD.com are experiencing tougher conditions in China: Alibaba recently reported its slowest quarterly earnings growth since 2016 and JD.com has announced job cuts.

    Amazon will continue to invest in China through its Amazon Global Store, Global Selling, Kindle e-readers and online content.

    Amazon Web Services, which sells data storage and computing power to enterprises, will also remain.

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    2019-07-17