Amazon will stop supplying Kindle e-readers to retailers in China and will close the country’s Kindle ebook store. Reuters reported based on a message on the company’s WeChat account. As of June 30, 2023, users will no longer be able to purchase Kindle digital books in China, while Amazon pulls its Kindle app from Chinese app stores a year later.
However, current customers will be able to download past titles purchased until June 2024, after which they will continue to work, but without the cloud backup. The move has nothing to do with government pressure or censorship, the tech giant said Reuters† Instead, Amazon says it’s changing its strategic focus. The company’s other businesses in the country, such as its e-commerce, cloud and advertising services, will continue.
“We remain committed to our customers in China. As a global company, we periodically review our offerings and make adjustments wherever we operate,” said an Amazon spokesperson Reuters† “With our portfolio of companies in China, we will continue to innovate and invest where we can deliver value to our customers.”
Amazon is one of the few western tech companies to have recently scaled back their operations in China. Last week, Airbnb has removed its listings in China due to a business slump due to China’s long COVID lockdown and high costs exacerbated by the pandemic. However, the company’s Beijing office will remain, turning its focus to outbound travelers instead.
Meanwhile, Yahoo pulled its services from China in November, just a month after Microsoft-owned LinkedIn discontinued the local version of its platform in the country. Both offered similar reasons, with LinkedIn citing the country’s “challenging work environment” and increased compliance requirements.