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Amazon, China and 'rebordering'

A truck bearing the Amazon logo and Chinese characters
Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

Amazon's decision to all but shut down operations in China is another step in a reorganization of the world into two distinct, digitally driven universes.

What's happening: In an announcement yesterday, Amazon said it will give up the local Chinese market, making its online store there solely a conduit for foreign goods.

Chinese analysts say the move follows tin-eared marketing and enormous gaffes by Amazon going back years, report the FT's Shannon Bond, Yuan Yang and Nian Liu.

  • But it also comes as the U.S., China and Russia are moving to cordon off cyberspace into their own zones of commercial, military and geopolitical influence.
  • As we have reported, this "rebordering," as some experts call it, is visible in the rollout of 5G internet, Russia's stated aim of cutting itself off from the global internet — and the growth of e-commerce.

"We are seeing rebordering in the behavior of both private and public actors," said Janice Gross Stein, a professor at the University of Toronto.

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