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Amazon to shut down third-party shopping site in China

E-tail giant no match for Alibaba and JD.com in second largest consumer market

Amazon entered China in 2004 by purchasing a local e-commerce player but has struggled to compete against rivals. (Nikkei montage)

PALO ALTO, U.S./SHANGHAI -- Amazon on Thursday announced its online shopping withdrawal from China after 15 years. The e-commerce giant is expected to focus more on India, which it sees as a growing Asian market.

Amazon has been operating an e-commerce marketplace for third-party sellers in China. It will cease services on July 18 but continue to offer cross-border e-commerce and cloud services.

Amazon entered China in 2004 by purchasing a local e-commerce player but has struggled to compete against rivals with advanced transnational shipping and logistics operations. More recently, China's big e-tailers have also started opening real-world stores, strengthening their clout.

In China, Alibaba and JD.com together control 80% of China's e-commerce market. Amazon appears to hold 0.6%.

"Amazon continues to make operational adjustments to focus our efforts on cross-border sales in China," an Amazon representative said.

Alibaba and other Chinese e-tailers offer a range of ancillary services like express deliveries and online payments that help them retain customers. They also make bulk purchases that help them to pass on savings to their customers.

Amazon has struggled in this competitive landscape.

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