Amazon to Shut Down Kindle Store in China

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  • Amazon will shutter its Kindle store in China next year, the e-commerce company announced Thursday.
  • The move follows those of other U.S. tech giants that have recently pulled back in the country.
  • Kindle users in China will no longer be able to purchase new books after the e-book shop closes on June 30, 2023.

Amazon will shut its Kindle e-book store in China next year, marking the latest retreat by a U.S. tech giant in the market.

Kindle users in China will no longer be able to purchase new books after the e-book shop closes on June 30, 2023, Amazon announced on its Weibo account on Thursday. The e-commerce company said it has already stopped supplying third-party sellers with Kindle e-readers, though some are still listed for purchase on Amazon's site.

Chinese users will be able to download previously purchased e-books until June 30, 2024, and continue to read them after that, Amazon said.

The Kindle maker did not give a reason for the pullback in its announcement, but it said its existing businesses in China, such as logistics, ads and devices, will not be affected.

"Amazon's long-term development commitment in China will not change," Amazon said in the Weibo post. "We have established an extensive business base in China and will continue to innovate and invest."

Amazon began selling its Kindle e-readers in China in 2013, and it quickly became an important market for that business, a former Amazon executive that oversaw the country told Chinese state media in 2017.

Other U.S. tech giants including Airbnb and Microsoft's LinkedIn have similarly scaled back their presence in China amid increasing competition from domestic players and harsher internet censorship.

Last December, a Reuters investigation detailed Amazon's efforts to curry favor in China, including that it collaborated with the country's propaganda arm to launch a "China Books" portal, partly in an effort to expand its Kindle business in China.

Amazon also shuttered its e-commerce marketplace in China in 2019 and has shifted its focus to cross-border selling to Chinese consumers.

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