Jun 2, 2022 - Economy & Business

Amazon halts Kindle sales in China

An Amazon Kindle ebook reader in Anyang, Henan Province of China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Image

Amazon has stopped selling its Kindle devices to retailers in China and will close its digital bookstore in the country next year.

Why it matters: This is Amazon’s latest retreat from China following the closure of its third-party marketplace in the country 3 years ago — and it’s also the latest example of how much Big Tech has struggled against extreme competition with Chinese companies and amid growing government restrictions of content and data collection.

Details: Amazon said it would stop selling ebooks in China on June 30, 2023, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

  • Amazon is also offering a refund to anyone who bought an eligible Kindle in China this year and no longer wants to keep it. 

What they’re saying: “As a global business, we periodically evaluate our offerings and make adjustments, wherever we operate," Amazon's statement reads.

  • The company told Reuters the closure of its Kindle business in China was not due to government pressure nor censorship.

The big picture: In the past year, Airbnb, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Yahoo have all closed (or will close) portions of their operations or businesses in China as the costs and risks of operating there has outweighed the benefits.

  • Amazon, unlike the others, has seen success with its Kindle business. But the overall demand for e-reader devices is rapidly declining, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What to watch: Amazon still continues to operate in China, including offering its advertising and cloud services.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Amazon's statement.

Go deeper