Amazon’s Kindle will shut down its e-book service in China next year, after Airbnb and LinkedIn exit the mainland market
Amazon.com will shut down its Kindle e-book service in China by next June, the company announced on Thursday, becoming the latest U.S. company to unplug its mainland business after home rental company Airbnb, the media platform social professionals LinkedIn and the Internet portal. yahoo.
The Kindle unit said it stopped selling e-book devices to distributors starting Thursday and will shut down the online bookstore service on June 30, 2023. Users will no longer be able to purchase new e-books after that date, according to the announcement. on its official Weibo and WeChat accounts.
The move comes just a week after Airbnb announced its intention to pull out of China. “As a global company, we periodically evaluate our offerings and make adjustments wherever we operate,” Amazon said in a statement.
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Amazon’s Kindle entered China in June 2013 and quickly became a dominant player in the country’s e-book market, forming a large fan base despite competition from a long list of Chinese rivals.
However, the proliferation of smartphones and improved screen technology have gradually reduced the demand for specialized e-book reading devices.
Kindle closed its flagship store on Tmall, one of China’s biggest e-commerce marketplaces, earlier this year, stoking speculation that it was preparing to leave China. Tmall is operated by Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Kindle’s decision was a normal business adjustment and China would continue to welcome investors.
Lily Lang, a millennial who’s been using Kindle for about 13 years, told the Job she felt saddened but not entirely surprised by the company’s exit.
It had been on an annual subscription until about a year ago, when only a 12 yuan ($1.80) monthly subscription was made available to Chinese Kindle Unlimited users. The avid reader typically used the tablet before bed, while traveling, or when she had limited access to physical copies of books.
“I won’t replace Kindle with other products, but maybe I’ll try downloading books and reading them offline,” Lang said, adding that she liked the highlighting, annotation and translation of the product.
“I feel like the world for Chinese netizens is getting more and more closed,” said Lang, who also stopped using LinkedIn and Airbnb in the past year.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice journal on China and Asia for over a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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