From The Wall Street Journal:
Amazon.com Inc. is checking out of China’s fiercely competitive domestic e-commerce market.
The company told sellers on Thursday that it will no longer operate its third-party online marketplace or provide seller services on its Chinese website, Amazon.cn, beginning July 18. As a result, domestic companies will no longer be able to sell products to Chinese consumers on its e-commerce platform.
The decision marks an end to a long struggle by America’s e-commerce giants in the Chinese market. The firms entered the Chinese market with great fanfare in the early 2000s only to wither in the face of competition from China’s faster-moving internet titans.
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In a statement, Amazon said it remains committed to China through its global stores, Kindle businesses and its web services.
Amazon China’s president will leave to take on another role within the company, the company confirmed. The China consumer business team will report directly into the company’s global team.
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When Amazon first entered China in 2004 with the purchase of Joyo.com, it was the largest online vendor for books, music and video there. Most Chinese consumers were using cash-on-delivery as their top form of payment. Today, Amazon China chiefly caters to customers looking for imported international goods like cosmetics and milk powder and is a minuscule player in the booming Chinese e-commerce market.
Amazon China commanded just 6% of gross merchandise volume in the niche cross-border e-commerce market in the fourth quarter of 2018, versus NetEase Kaola’s 25% share and the 32% held by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall International, according to Nomura Securities Co.
“Everyone has merged with someone,” said Chris Reitermann, chief executive for Asia and Greater China at Ogilvy, which advises Alibaba. “It became clear that as a Western internet company you wouldn’t be able to succeed at scale without a Chinese partner.”
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal