What happened: E-commerce giant Amazon has halted official sales of paper books in China while the platform’s third party sellers will also go offline soon. The China unit will only handle cross-border e-commerce and cloud via Amazon Web Service from July 18, according to a statement. E-book sales will not be affected by the adjustment.
Why important: The move comes after the US firm’s revenue expanded at the slowest rate for four years in the first quarter this year. The international sales division, which covers China and India, has run up losses for three straight years, which Amazon attributes to fierce local competition and strict restrictions. In China, Amazon has been left behind by local players like Alibaba and JD which Amazon says have a “greater” understanding of local users. Amazon claims regulations and license requirements are restricting its development. “Our international operations may not be profitable on a sustained basis,” the company said.