BEIJING, January 4, 2022 (TMTPOST) — Amazon’s e-reader Kindle is currently unavailable for purchase on major Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and JD.com in China, generating doubts on Amazon’s future in the Chinese market.
Kindle’s official flagship store on Taobao is no longer available, while the flagship store on JD.com sells only a basic Kindle model (priced at US$103) that was launched in March 2019. Kindle Paperwhite is out of stock on JD.com. Third-party vendors are still selling the e-book device.
Amazon brushed off media speculations of it planning to exit from the Chinese market, stating that Kindle is highly praised among consumers and that some of the models have sold out in China.
“We are committed to serving Chinese consumers. Consumers can purchase Kindle devices through third-party online and offline retailers,” Amazon representative said in a statement. “We will continue to provide high-quality customer service and after-sales service for our customers.”
Amazon did not reveal its future plan for its business in China.
In 2019, Amazon shut down its e-commerce operation in China, leaving only Kindle and cross-border e-commerce operations in the country.
Kindle originally entered the Chinese market in 2013. It is one of Amazon’s most successful businesses in China. It is unclear how well it is doing in China now. Third-party statistics show that Kindle accounted for over 65% of the e-reader market share in China, dominating the market.
However, the e-reader market has a relatively small scale and slow growth, according to statistics from industry research firm AskCI Consulting. The scale of China’s e-reader market was 3.4 billion yuan in 2016 and 3.7 billion yuan in 2017, growing at an average rate of around 7% each year.
Kindle’s dominance in the Chinese e-reader market is also challenged by local brands such as iReader, China Literature and JD.com. The competition is intensifying in the country.