- 1 November 2016
- Transport / Logistics Services
Amazon has officially launched its Prime subscription service in China, enabling it to reach its largest individual market so far.
Customers buying goods from Amazon China as Prime members can have their goods delivered for free. However there is a difference between the Prime membership offered in China, and the rest of the world such as Europe and the US.
Chinese customers cannot get access to the free streaming and movie services that are offered to people in the West and rest of the world where Amazon operated. This is mostly down to the stringent Chinese government rules on streaming platforms. It is not easy for foreign companies (even as large and well known as Amazon) to obtain the appropriate licenses.
China currently has two major incumbents for its e-commerce marketplaces in the form of Alibaba and JD.com. Amazon is very aware of these two giants and as a result the launch hasn’t the same expectations that Amazon has had for its Prime services in other markets and its ambitions are expected to be very low for the moment.
China has long been seen as a potentially huge market for many Western companies but even the biggest and best resourced have encountered problems in cracking this market. While Western behemoths have tried and sometimes failed, China has allowed its own versions to flourish. Facebook doesn’t really exist and Google has had its feathers clipped in the country so in the face of others’ experiences Amazon looks to be playing the long game in this regard.
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