Amazon to cease kindle e-bookstore operations on Chinese mainland
Chinese users won't be able to purchase or download new e-books on their Kindles from June next year after Amazon on Thursday announced the closure of its e-bookstore services on the Chinese mainland.
The US-based company said it had ceased selling new Kindle e-book devices on all channels on the Chinese mainland from today. It will provide returns for Chinese buyers' new Kindles purchased after January 1 this year.
It's the latest move by US tech firms to either shrink or exit their online services in the Chinese mainland, following similar recent actions by LinkedIn and Airbnb.
For e-books already purchased, Chinese Kindle users can download them online until June 30 of 2024. After that, they can only read the downloaded ones.
The notes and personal files stored in Kindle devices will be preserved without change, according to a post today on Amazon's Chinese-language WeChat account.
It's the "tears of the new age," said a WeChat user comment on the post.
Amazon already had stopped sales of Kindle devices by Chinese retailers like JD and Tmall last year.
People have become used to reading on other platforms like WeChat or several Chinese apps, some of which allow users to "listen to" the audio books.
Amazon is out of time to some extent and people have even joked about its purpose: "Is your Kindle used for reading books or instant noodles?" some netizens commented about a shared Kindle instant noodle tutorial.
Several Chinese tech firms, including Huawei, have developed e-book readers or devices designed for readers, with improved functions and appealing designs to woo new generation readers, especially young people.
Amazon, with an 18-year history on the Chinese mainland, emphasized that "we remain committed to them (users) and to the country as a whole," the company said in a statement to Shanghai Daily today.
Amazon will continue to expand its services on the Chinese mainland, such as Amazon Global Selling, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Global Logistics and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world's top public cloud service.
More than 10,000 Amazon people support customers and businesses in 12 cities on the Chinese mainland, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.
In the past several months, Airbnb and LinkedIn announced either big changes to their operations or their exit from the Chinese market.