Amazon once thought it could be an e-commerce threat to competitor Alibaba in China, but that time appears to be over.
The proof is in Amazon’s new Kindle promotion across Alibaba’s Chinese shopping sites which launched Saturday, something the U.S. internet giant would never have thought of doing with a competitor in such a crucial market.
Amazon has tried to gain ground in China for more than 10 years, but has only recently realized that it can’t beat Alibaba in the world’s largest single-country market. Some estimates have even shown Amazon as having less than 1% market share in China’s e-commerce market.
This comes at a time when online shopping is on the rise in India where Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos, believes the company has a better shot at becoming the top player there. Bezos has promised a $5 billion investment in India to battle India’s Flipkart, which counts both eBay and Alibaba ally SoftBank as investors.
Unfortunately, China is too big of a market to ignore. Amazon recognizes this and has released a custom Kindle for the Chinese market, and has said that China is the biggest market for the Kindle.
Amazon’s effort to drive Chinese customers to the Kindle hinges on its efforts across Alibaba’s various shopping sites.