Amazon eyes China as global gateway

By Linda Deng in Seattle | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-06-16 10:42

Amazon eyes China as global gateway

Kindle's success in China reflects the massive market potential for the Seattle e-commerce giant

Amazon has become more confident in expanding its services in the China market.

The business of Amazon Global Store - providing overseas goods for Chinese consumers - surged fourfold in the first half of 2016, compared to the same period of 2015.

Consumers bought products ranging from German milk powder and Japanese cosmetics to US apparel and luxury brands like Chanel, Prada, Ferragamo and Jimmy Choo.

Before 2015, Amazon China repositioned its strategy to focus on the fast-growing, cross-border e-commerce market, including selling global brands in China and selling China's products globally.

The global e-commerce giant's business focuses in China include cross-border e-commerce powered by the Amazon Global Store and Amazon Global Selling, Amazon Reading which includes books, Kindle devices and e-books, plus Amazon Logistics Operations and Amazon Web Services.

China has become the largest market for Kindle devices, according to Amazon.

In May 2015, Amazon China launched the first white Kindle in Amazon's history, which helps attract a lot of female readers. Encouraged by the positive result, this innovative idea was later rolled out to other countries globally, Japan, India etc.

"Since the launch of Kindle in China, the market has responded extremely well," said Elaine Chang, president of Amazon China. "Based on our market research on our readers in China, we know our female customers would like the white Kindle."

Chang joined Amazon in May 2013 and was general manager of Kindle China before becoming the new president of Amazon China. She has also worked with more than 660 Chinese publishing companies to make over 420,000 books (including around 210,000 Chinese titles and 21,000 English titles) available for Kindle.

In addition to the success of Kindle in China, Amazon is also enthusiastic about the prospects for its other services there. Last October, the company released Amazon Prime membership.

Chinese Prime members get free cross-border shipping on Prime eligible products in the Amazon Global Store (with a minimum purchase). More than 9 million Prime-eligible products sold within China are also delivered for free with no minimum purchase.

Prime members in 82 cities receive their packages from US, UK and Japan within five to nine working days. Regular customers have to wait nine to 12 working days for cross-border deliveries.

The annual fee for Chinese subscribers is 388 yuan ($57), and customers can join Prime for a limited time promotional price of 188 yuan ($28) available until Nov 26, 2017. In the US it's $99.

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