Amazon Plays Down Reports It’s Pulling Kindle From China
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. brushed off media speculation that it was suspending sales of its Kindle e-reader in China, after some of its signature product’s models went out of stock on Chinese platforms.
“We remain committed to our customers in China,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Customers can continue to purchase Kindle e-readers from offline and third-party online retailers.”
Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite devices were not in stock on JD.com on Tuesday, but were still available from some vendors on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s e-commerce outlet. JD.com Inc. and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Customer service representatives on both platforms said they had not received any notice of changes to Kindle availability in China.
Amazon’s e-commerce business retreated from the country in 2019 after a decades-long struggle to chip away at the dominance of Alibaba’s Taobao and local rivals like JD in online retail. US tech giants have faced greater regulatory pressures operating in China, with Yahoo as the last major social media company to pull out late last year, citing a more challenging operating environment. Tencent Holdings Ltd. is the distant leader in ebooks in the country.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social service, the hashtag associated with Amazon’s potential Kindle exit from the market was read more than 16 million times by Tuesday afternoon. Amazon faced a flurry of criticism last month after Reuters reported its efforts to curry favor in China included disabling domestic online ratings on a book of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s writings and speeches.
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