Chinese media reports have disclosed that Amazon is pulling all Kindle models out of the country. Amazon has removed the Kindle listings on their authorized retail channels such as Alibaba, T-Mall, Taobao, and JD. Some products are still listed on their Wechat Store, but they are all of stock. According to TechCrunch, Amazon reportedly disbanded Kindle’s device team in China back in November, according to a social media post by a reporter at BK Economy, a subsidiary of state-owned Beijing News.
Amazon launched the Kindle in China in 2013 and has launched many different models over the years. One of their most notable e-readers was the Kindle Migu X, which had both the Kindle Store and the Migu store on the device, so customers had options on what bookstore to do business with. In 2019, Amazon shuttered their e-commerce business after a decades-long struggle to chip away at the dominance of their competition.
Why would Amazon pull the Kindle out of China, when only a few years ago, said it was one of their most important markets? I believe there are a ton of new digital note taking devices, color e-readers and regular ebook readers, that people are buying. Brands such as Boyue, Onyx Boox, iReader, iFlytek, Hanvon, and dozens of others have made a significant dent in Kindle sales. Not to mention, the Kindle bookstore is not as popular as it used to be. They are losing ground to Dangdang, Jingdong, Baidus Zongheng and China Literature, which is a subsidiary of Tenchet.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.