Amazon to Close Official App Store in China As It Continues Retreat From The Market
Amazon announces closure of its app store in China, following the shutdown of Kindle e-book service as foreign businesses face challenges in the Chinese market.
Amazon.com will be closing its official app store in China in July, marking another step back for the US tech giant in the Chinese market.
The decision comes after the announcement last year that its Kindle e-book service would also cease operations. The move reflects the challenges faced by foreign businesses in China, including tightened regulations on data and privacy protections as well as fierce competition from local players.
The Amazon Appstore, launched in 2011 as an alternative to Google for Android phone users, will be "discontinued," according to an Amazon representative. However, Amazon.cn the official shopping site along with other services such as Amazon Global Selling, Amazon Global Store and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will remain operational.
Chinese media outlet The Paper reported that the app store service will shut down on July 17. An email sent to users by the Amazon Appstore did not provide specific reasons for the closure. As of Tuesday, the official Chinese site of the Amazon Appstore no longer allowed downloads. China's internet service market with over 1 billion users, has become increasingly challenging for foreign businesses due to stricter regulations and heightened competition. Despite the closure of the official app store, Amazon's Appstore can still be accessed in mainland China without a VPN. Although banned US apps like Facebook and Twitter are unavailable.
In a similar move, LinkedIn recently announced the closure of its app in China, terminating its remaining social media presence in the country and cutting hundreds of jobs worldwide.
Since its entry into China through the acquisition of Joyo.com in 2004, Amazon has faced difficulties in its Chinese business operations, particularly in e-commerce and cloud services. In 2019, the company stopped supporting third-party merchants in the domestic marketplace. According to a report by TMO Group, Amazon ranked 12th in popularity among all e-commerce platforms in China, lagging far behind Taobao, JD.com, and Douyin.
Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of the South China Morning Post. In the cloud market, AWS held the fifth position in China with a market share of 8.6% in the second half of 2022, trailing behind Alibaba and Huawei Technologies Co, which accounted for 31.9% and 12.1% respectively, as reported by market research firm IDC.
Amidst slowing online sales growth and potential economic recession, Amazon initiated a significant round of job cuts in January which impacted 18,000 workers worldwide.
Amazon will close its official app store in China in July, following the shutdown of its Kindle e-book service. The closure reflects challenges faced by foreign businesses in China's competitive market and stricter regulations on data and privacy protections.
The Amazon Appstore will be discontinued, but Amazon.cn and other services like Amazon Global Selling and AWS will continue operating.
Despite challenges, Amazon's Appstore can still be accessed in mainland China without a VPN but banned US apps are still not available.