Amazon Retreats from the China Market

Bezos, world's richest man, shows won't be pushed around
ALEX WONG/AFP

E-commerce giant Amazon reportedly plans to close its domestic marketplace to Chinese consumers by mid-July due to Chinese companies dominating the market. Jeff Bezos’ company will continue to sell goods from other countries in China.

CNBC reports that e-commerce giant Amazon will soon close its domestic marketplace in China, instead focusing on selling cloud services and overseas goods in the country. Chinese shoppers will still be able to purchase items from the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark and Japan via Amazon’s global store but will no longer have access to products sold by third-party merchants in the country.

Over the course of the next 90 days, Amazon plans to close down all domestic-selling merchants in China. A source stated that Chinese buyers will still be able to purchase some Amazon products such as Kindle e-readers and Amazon’s online content. Amazon Web services and all cloud-based data storage will continue to operate in the country also.

“We are working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to deliver the best customer experience possible,” a spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement. “Sellers interested in continuing to sell on Amazon outside of China are able to do so through Amazon Global Selling.”

Amazon has long struggled to gain a foothold in the Chinese consumer market. According to insights firm iResearch Global, Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace and JD.com held 81.9percent of the Chinese market last year.

Amazon has come under fire in the U.S. for removing books by right-wing authors from its marketplace, Breitbart News reporter Allum Bokhari wrote in his recent article:

As with financial blacklisting, a censorship spree that starts by targeting extreme ideas quickly moves towards the censorship of more mainstream ones. In early March, the online retailer banned Muhammed’s Koran: Why Muslims Kill for Islam, a Chronological Koran and critique of the Islamic religion co-authored by British populist Tommy Robinson.

The book is a chronological reordering of the Islamic Koran, followed by commentary by Robinson and his co-author, Peter McLoughlin. Amazon did not return Breitbart News’ request for an explanation of why the book was banned.

In 2010, Amazon refused to take down a book defending pedophilia on first amendment grounds. “Amazon believes it is censorship not sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” an Amazon representative told CNBC at the time.

“Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

Read the full report from Bokhari here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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