Amazon is shutting down its Kindle bookstore in China, marking another retreat by a Western tech giant in the world’s second biggest economy.
The company announced Thursday that starting July 2023, Kindle users will not be able to buy online books in the country.
Existing customers will be able to download previously purchased titles until June 2024. Amazon (AMZN) also said it would stop supplying Kindle devices to retailers starting Thursday.
“Amazon China’s long-term commitment to customers will not change,” the Seattle-based firm said in a statement. “We have established an extensive business foundation in China and will continue to innovate and invest.”
The move adds to a series of corporate withdrawals from China in recent months. Last week, Airbnb (ABNB) announced that it would take down all its listings in the country and concentrate instead on outbound travelers, saying that it had incurred mounting costs that were made worse by Covid-19. Starting this summer, guests will no longer be able to make bookings in China.
Last October, LinkedIn said that it would shut down the local version of its platform in China, citing a “significantly more challenging operating environment” and compliance hurdles.
The platform, which is owned by Microsoft (MSFT), decided to introduce an all-new, even more localized service, called InJobs. The site is intended to serve less as a personalized professional networking service that allows users to share messages and online posts, and more as a traditional careers portal.
Amazon first entered mainland China in 2004 by acquiring Joyo.com, a major online seller of books, music and videos in the country.
Since then, it has enjoyed limited success in the vast market. In 2019, the company closed down its online local marketplace in China, meaning that customers were no longer able to buy goods from Chinese vendors.
While the company did not publicly explain why, analysts suggested that it had ceded to homegrown competition, led by players such as Alibaba (BABA) and JD.com (JD).
Amazon continues to run an online store in China allowing “overseas” purchases,” the company noted in its statement Thursday, in addition to logistics, cloud service and advertising businesses.
— CNN’s Shawn Deng and Ziyu Zhang contributed to this report.