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Amazon tells employees: We’re staying in China

September 28, 2016 07:30 AM
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Operating in China can be tough for Western firms: Google Inc. pulled out rather than censor search results and Uber Technologies Inc. recently sold its China division to competing Chinese taxi-hailing competitor Didi Chuxing. But Amazon.com Inc. says it’s staying in China, despite widespread rumors to the contrary.

“China is a key strategic market for Amazon’s global market,” Zhang Wenyi, president of Amazon China, wrote in an email to Amazon China employees. “We will continue our investments in China and keep growing its business.”

Zhang’s email followed rumors that Amazon would sell its China business to China’s Leshi Internet Information and Technology, also known as LeEco. Beijing-based LeEco offers a Netflix-like video subscription service in China and sell its own brands of smartphones, TVs and other consumer electronics via its e-commerce site, lemall.com. The company is expanding quickly internationally, has opened offices in California and now sells online to U.S. consumers at lemall.com/us.

Amazon’s sales into and out of China, are growing rapidly, Zhang said in her email. “In August alone, Chinese consumers purchased 10 million orders that were fulfilled by sellers on Amazon’s overseas sites. Sales generated by Chinese consumers shopping on Amazon’s overseas sites increased more than fourfold year over year in the first six months in 2016,” Zhang said. 

She also said monthly sales are up nearly 18-fold compared to a year ago for the flash-sale section of Amazon.cn that features imported products and which has operated for about a year.

Amazon China confirmed the contents of the email to Internet Retailer.

Amazon is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2016 China 500, which ranks e-retail sites by their China sales, and LeEco is No. 393. Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500, which ranks the leading e-retailers in North America.

 

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