China's Kindles held up in supply chain disfunction

Though it seems that Kindle is not leaving China any time soon, but business here is getting tough.

Photo from Tuchong

Photo from Tuchong

By WU Yangyu


Reports of Kindle’s impending retreat from China appear to have been exaggerated. Kindle is not leaving the Chinese market any time soon. Three publishing houses that work with Kindle told Jiemian News on January 14 that they are very happy with their prospects. 

Jiemian News reported on January 4 that Kindles were out of stock on most of China’s e-commerce platforms including Tmall and Reports from local media said Amazon sacked Kindle’s entire Chinese hardware division last year.

Amazon explained some popular models had sold out online, but customers could still buy Kindles from offline shops and through third-party channels, and the customer experience remained unchanged. 

A third-party distributor said Kindles had been in short supply for quite a while, but he didn't know Kindle is planning to leave China. “It’s because of problems with chip shortage,” he said. “We have no idea when our supply chain will recover.”

Although Kindle’s publishing business and offline sales continue, Amazon remains tight-lipped on the rumored layoffs and any retreat from the Chinese market. 

Since it entered the Chinese market in 2013, Kindle has been the most successful product of Amazon. To many Chinese, Kindle was the go-to choice of e-readers. But it struggled to turn the popularity into profit, from 2014 to 2017, the annual sales volume grew as slow as 7 percent each year.