Amazon will close Kindle offers, other Big Tech players will too


Amazon said on Thursday it will shut its Kindle service in China next year, making it the latest major tech company to seek to reduce its presence in the communist country.

Amazon’s announcement follows news this week that Apple is removing some of its production from China, and comes after Microsoft-owned LinkedIn’s decision last year to remove the social component of its service for people in China.

Amazon said the Kindle bookstore will cease operations in China on June 30, 2023, but will not leave the Chinese market.

“We want to assure customers that they can continue to access their content beyond this date by downloading eBook content to their device,” Amazon spokeswoman Michelle Taylersen said in a statement. “We will continue to support Kindle devices and our customer service and warranty will not change. For customers who don’t want to continue using their device, we offer a refund as an option if they purchase an eligible Kindle after January 1, 2022.”

Taylerson said Amazon remains committed to its business in China and periodically evaluates its offerings. Other Amazon services that continue to operate in China include advertising, in-store, logistics and web services products.

According to Nikkei Asia, the e-commerce giant’s withdrawal of its digital readership in China comes just after Apple reported that it shifted some of its iPad production from China to Vietnam due to COVID-19 quarantine policies and supply chain disruptions.

Amazon and Apple aren’t the first American tech companies to stop serving in China. In December 2021, LinkedIn launched a new version of its app in China, designed to exclude free expression and have limited functionality as a digital job board.

Weifeng Zhong, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, said that quarantines and COVID policies have affected the decisions of these businesses, but China’s imitations of American big-tech products have also caused market reassessment by American companies.

“Adding to this competitive pressure is the demographic shift in China as a result of the one-child policy, which has led to a marked increase in the cost of labor and therefore a different cost-benefit calculation for foreign companies producing products in China,” Mr. Zhong said in an email. “These trends mean that at least some degree of ‘divergence’ from the Chinese market is inevitable for America’s biggest tech companies. But because much of it is a commercial calculation, companies will see a more dramatic, Cold War-style ‘decoupling’ from China. It is unlikely that they will continue.”

Mr. Zhong created the Policy Change Index for China, which uses artificial intelligence to predict the behavior of the Chinese government. He said the machine learning tool has yet to detect signs that corporate moves are giving Beijing any pause.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *