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Amazon to withdraw from online shopping in China

This photo taken in September 2018 shows the Amazon.com Inc.'s logo at the company's headquarters in Seattle. (Kyodo)

SHANGHAI (Kyodo) -- Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it will stop operating its online shopping service in China on July 18, according to Chinese and other media.

The withdrawal by the U.S. e-commerce giant is prompted by fierce competition within the world's second-largest economy, where domestic online shopping service providers such as Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. hold a commanding market share.

Amazon entered the Chinese market in 2004, but as it struggled to localize its business model, Chinese e-commerce providers such as Alibaba and JD.com Inc. quickly captured the market through discounts and advanced logistics.

In 2018, Amazon accounted for merely 0.7 percent of online sales in the Chinese market, according to a U.S. research firm.

Despite the withdrawal, Amazon will continue its Kindle e-book business and cross-border trade services for imported goods.

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