Amazon Discontinues Kindle Sales in China, e-Bookstore to Close in 2023

Amazon on Thursday announced it is ceasing all supply of its Kindle e-readers to retailers in China — reports Reuters.

The company will also shut down its Chinese eBookstore on June 30 next year. However, customers will still be able to download any eBooks they’ve purchased for a year after the store closes. The remainder of Amazon’s (admittedly limited) business lines in China will remain, the eCommerce giant said.

Amazon did not provide a reason for the closure beyond saying it was adjusting the strategic focus of its operations in the region. That said, Amazon has historically had a shaky relationship with Beijing, as have other tech companies.

“We remain committed to our customers in China. As a global business, we periodically evaluate our offerings and make adjustments, wherever we operate,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“With our portfolio of businesses in China, we will continue to innovate and invest where we can provide value to our customers.”

Amazon will ultimately remove the Kindle app from Chinese app stores in 2024. Amazon’s Audible app was removed from Apple’s App Store in China back in October 2021.

According to an internal briefing document from 2018, China had become Kindle’s largest global market by 2017’s end, “accounting for 40%+ of our world device sales volume.”

Amazon closed down its Chinese store in 2019. With the company now pulling Kindle out of China as well, its remaining businesses in China include cross-border eCommerce, advertising, and cloud services. Although, the country still plays a key role in Amazon’s global supply chain.

Amazon insisted the decision wasn’t a result of government pressure or censorship. However, many internet companies and tech giants have cut down their presence in China or withdrawn from the country entirely as of late, in response to the Chinese government’s increased regulation of online content and crackdown on data sharing.