U.S.-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc plans to shut down its third-party seller services on its Chinese online marketplace in July, as it shifts its focus to offering Chinese mainland consumers overseas products rather than goods from local sellers.
Starting July 18, customers logging in to Amazon's Chinese web portal will only see a selection of goods from its global store, rather than products from local third-party sellers.
Amazon said it will keep running its other businesses in China, including the cross-border shopping business Amazon Global Store; Global Selling, which helps Chinese merchants sell products abroad; its cloud service platform Amazon Web Services; and Kindle e-book devices and content.
"Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we've seen a very strong response from Chinese customers.
It will continue to make operational adjustments to focus efforts on cross-border sales in China and to keep improving the experience for both Chinese customers and global selling partners.
Amazon entered China in 2004, when it bought a local online bookseller for $75 million. Since then, it has invested in warehouses, data centers and programs to teach Chinese sellers how to get their goods to Amazon customers.
In October 2016, Amazon launched in China its Amazon Prime, the first unlimited free cross-border shipping membership program that operates globally, in an attempt to lure the rising number of quality-conscious Chinese buyers to buy foreign products.