Amazon is shutting its online store in China that allows shoppers to buy from domestic sellers, scaling back operations in the world’s most populous nation.
An Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that the company is notifying sellers that it will no longer operate a marketplace, nor provide seller services on Amazon.cn.
The store will be shut by July 18.
“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 in a statement.
“Sellers interested in continuing to sell on Amazon outside of China are able to do so through Amazon Global Selling.”
Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order goods from the e-commerce behemoth’s global store.
Amazon will wind down support for domestic-selling merchants in China in the next 90 days and review the impact on its fulfillment centers in the country, some of which it may close, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
“They’re pulling out because it’s not profitable and not growing,” said analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities.
According to the Amazon spokeswoman, the company will continue to invest and grow in China through its Amazon Global Store, Global Selling, Kindle e-readers and online content.
Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing unit that sells data storage and computing power to enterprises, will also remain.
The withdrawal of the world’s largest online retailer comes amid a broader e-commerce slowdown in China.
Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba in January reported its slowest quarterly earnings growth since 2016, while rival JD.com is responding to the changing business environment with staff cuts, Reuters noted.
Amazon bought Chinese online shopping website Joyo.com in 2004 for US$75 million, rebranding the business in 2011 as Amazon China.
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