Amazon.com Inc said it will shut its China online store by July 18, as the U.S. e-commerce giant focusses on the lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world’s most populous nation.
The move underscores how entrenched, home-grown e-commerce rivals have made it difficult for Amazon’s marketplace to gain traction in China. Consumer research firm iResearch Global said Alibaba Group Holding’s Tmall marketplace and JD.com controlled 82% of the Chinese e-commerce market last year.
An Amazon spokeswoman said on Thursday that it is notifying sellers that it will no longer operate a marketplace, nor provide seller services on Amazon.cn.
“We are working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to continue to deliver the best customer experience possible,” the spokeswoman said.
“Sellers interested in continuing to sell on Amazon outside of China are able to do so through Amazon Global Selling.” Amazon will wind down support for domestic-selling merchants in China in the next 90 days and review the impact on its fulfilment centres in the country a source said.