Will Kindle take off in China?

Amazon's Kindle e-reader is now available in China. But the Chinese Government may not be a fan and, as many Chinese use their phones to read books, the Kindle may face an uphill battle.

Amazon’s Kindle launch in China is a major milestone for the online retail giant, which has been working to enter the Chinese market for years.

With the launch of its Kindle e-reader in China Friday, Amazon has officially entered what may become the most lucrative e-books market in the world. Amazon began selling two Kindle devices – the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite – on its Amazon China website as well as through major Chinese electronics retailer Suning. The devices retail for 849 yuan (about $138) for the Kindle Paperwhite, 1,499 yuan (about $244) for the 16 GB Kindle Fire HD, and 1,799 yuan ($293) for the 32 GB Kindle Fire HD.

China contains the world’s largest population of Internet users and Amazon’s Kindle launch there is a major milestone for the online retail giant, which has been working to enter the Chinese market for years, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Amazon is investing “heavily” in China, Thomas Szkuktak, Amazon’s chief financial officer, told Bloomberg Businessweek in a January conference call.

The company released its Kindle e-reading mobile apps and e-book store in China in December and just last month opened its Appstore for devices using Google’s Android mobile operating system. Nonetheless, Amazon may encounter some roadblocks in China. For starters, it’s already been under investigation by the Chinese government to determine whether it violated regulations by selling digital publications.

Surprisingly, Amazon hasn’t yet built up significant market share in China and faces stiff competition from local competitors like Alibaba Group Holdings. And while many Chinese read digital books, they tend to do so online or one their phones, rarely on e-readers or tablets, according to a Forrester Research analysis, something Amazon is struggling to change. Finally, e-book piracy is common in China, which Amazon is combating by pricing its e-books very low – 10 yuan ($1.63) compared to $10 or more in the US.

 Getting a foothold in the Chinese market will be among Amazon’s most difficult challenges – albeit one that comes with very lucrative rewards.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Will Kindle take off in China?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today