Amazon entered the China market in 2004 through a $75 million acquisition of Joyo.com, an online media seller. During its time in the country, substantial competition from local e-commerce giants such as Jack Ma’s Alibaba, TaoBao and JD.com hindered its ability to capture a wider breadth of market share.
Amazon later pushed heavily on its e-reader and tablet product offerings, but China’s complex regulatory approval caused years-long delays. Between 2011 and 2012, Amazon’s held a market share of around 15% in the country but later plunged to less than 1% by 2019, according to iResearch. Amazon officially closed its China marketplace in 2019 but keeps, among other businesses, its Amazon Web Services, Amazon Global Logistics and Amazon Advertising.
1:48 Ch. 1 – Amazon’s early efforts in China
3:57 Ch. 2 – Why it failed
9:01 Ch. 3 – Ongoing efforts in China — and beyond
Produced by: Jade Tungul
Senior Managing Producer: Tala Hadavi
Graphics by: Mallory Brangan, Jade Tungul
Additional Sources: Amazon, Securities and Exchange Commission, Alibaba Group, JD.com, Reuters
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Why Amazon’s Marketplace Failed In China