Caixin
Apr 18, 2019 08:27 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Amazon to Shutter China Platform for Domestic Third-Party Sellers

Amazon will shutter its domestic e-commerce business in China in mid-July. Photo: IC
Amazon will shutter its domestic e-commerce business in China in mid-July. Photo: IC

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has denied it is leaving China, after reports it was dropping third-party vendors from its Chinese platform sparked concerns it was preparing to exit the fiercely competitive market.

Amazon’s “commitment to China remains strong” and it will continue to invest in the market, including in its international e-commerce services for consumers and businesses and its profitable cloud computing unit, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement confirmed that the company will no longer offer e-commerce services to third-party vendors in China after July 18. At the moment, products available on Amazon’s domestic Chinese store are either sold by approved third-parties or by Amazon itself.

A member of Amazon China’s e-commerce team told Caixin that at present there has been no sign the company plans to change how it sells goods provided by its own sourcing and sales channels.

A spokesperson told Caixin that Amazon China President Elaine Chang will be reassigned to a new position, without elaborating on her new position or replacement as president. The company declined to answer questions about whether any lay-offs are planned.

In 2018, the company’s share of China’s e-commerce industry was 0.7%, compared to market leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s 58.2% share, a report from market information provider eMarketer showed. In 2008, Amazon’s share of the market was 15.4%, eMarketer said.

Amazon had been perusing an international e-commerce strategy in the Chinese market even prior to its latest decision.

During China’s 2018 “Double 11” annual e-commerce festival, Amazon launched a “True Black Friday” in China, which offered the country’s shoppers discounted goods from the company’s stores in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Germany.

On Wednesday, Amazon opened a new cross-border industrial park in Ningbo, East China’s Zhejiang province to help Chinese merchants sell their products internationally.

Contact reporter Zhao Runhua (runhuazhao@caixin.com)

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