Amazon says it's shutting its China online store

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:45s

Amazon says it's shutting its China online store

Amazon says it will shut its China online store by July 18, as the U.S. e-commerce giant focuses on the lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world's most populous nation.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Amazon says it's shutting its China online store

Amazon is retreating from China as competition with home-grown companies heats up.

The world's largest online retailer says it will no longer operate a marketplace, or provide seller services on its local site.

Online shoppers there will still have access to the firm's global store - with products from countries like the UK and the U.S.- but it's leaving its domestic shop behind.

Reuters' correspondent Kane Wu is on the story: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, KANE WU, SAYING: "I would say that after 15 years being in China, Amazon still hasn't fully adapted to how the China market works compared to its peers it still follows global standards and company sources have told us that any decision that is to be made in China would have to get approval from their US headquarters.

So compared to its peers in China it lacks flexibility, I wouldn't say that it's a tragic thing for them, for Amazon they're re-focusing their strategy in Asia, getting out of China hasn't been that difficult because they haven't been making a lot of money in China to begin with but sources have told us they're now focusing more on India." It's part of a broader pullout of other big Western stores, in a country where Alibaba's Tmall and JD.com dominate.

Analysts say - last year - the two controlled more than 80 percent of the Chinese e-commerce market.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, KANE WU, SAYING: "We have been reporting about a lot of multinational companies re-strategizing in Asia and from the traditional retail part of the world, we have seen some supermarket retailers like Germany's Metro rethinking their China plans, they're trying to find a local partner or perhaps selling a stake in their China business." U.S. listed shares of Alibaba and JD briefly rose on Wednesday (April 17) - after Reuters first reported the move.

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