Amazon Kindle Thriving in China

17 Dec

It’s been almost a year since Amazon’s Kindle services were introduced in China, and now that the second generation Kindle Paperwhite has been announced in the country, the future prospects couldn’t look any better for Amazon. According to the recent set of data unveiled by the online retail giant, the Kindle businesses are not just performing better than expected in the Chinese region, they are also gradually generating profits for the company.

Amazon first introduced its Kindle content to China on December 13, 2012, and went on to promote the new Kindle tablets six months later. Though China was seen as one of the world’s largest consumer markets, the country’s ongoing piracy problem remained a lingering issue for Amazon’s executives. Makings matters slightly more complicated, if not worse, is the  Chinese consumers’ tendency to be relatively more cost-conscious about their purchases when compared to the buyers from other markets.1370659707718

Remarkably, Amazon’s Kindle services managed to thrive in China even with the aforementioned challenges and obstacles. At the 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhite press conference, Kurt Biedler, Head of Kindle content at Amazon China, confirmed that the digital book business has brought profits to the company for the first time in the country. The profit figure appears to be impressive enough that the company felt confident releasing Kindle Paperwhite 2 in China four months following its official announcement.

At present, Amazon has roughly 60 thousand digital books available in its database, and is anticipated to raise the collection up to 100 thousand in 2014. Looking at the market in the United States, the size of Kindle’s ecosystem appears to be on track for further growth thanks to the increased reading rate in the country, which is 4.6 times larger than it was in the periods before.

In China, where Kindle content is gaining more and more momentum among consumers, many local publishing companies have begun providing digital as well as paper versions of their publications. Citic Publishing Group’s chief editor, Huang Yi Sheng, recently noted that the number of the company’s Kindle books purchased in 3Q13 was twice the amount of that in 1Q13, an indication that the ecosystem is becoming increasingly more successful in the country.

With the Kindle business thriving at a faster pace than Amazon’s online retail business in China, it would be interesting to see how far the company would succeed in terms of providing digital book content. While there will still be issues like piracy and lack of legitimately good Kindle book selections, the impressive gains earned by Amazon’s digital book business so far suggests for a good future for the company.