Business / Economy

Kindle expands into China with new tablets

By Gao Yuan ( Updated: 2014-02-24 22:24 Inc launched its high-end Kindle tablets in China on Tuesday in a bid to win over young buyers and compete with Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in the world's top mobile electronics market.

"Kindle has accelerated its global expansion since 2012. China is one of the most important links in our strategy," David Limp, vice-president of Kindle, told China Daily.

The US company launched its first e-reader and tablet products in China in June 2013. But its tablets faced strong competition from Apple's iPad series, Samsung's Galaxy series and local vendor Lenovo's Yoga series.

Limp said he was satisfied with the company's previous launches in China, but he also admitted that Kindle's overseas expansion project is still young and the company has a long way to go in China.

Amazon declined to disclose sales figures for Kindle products in China.

"We know our customers' needs and that will bring us advantages in the future," said Limp. "Kindles are not just a gadget; it's a service."

Amazon has underlined the entertainment functions of its new products, targeting young video game players and music lovers in China. It has joined hands with local video and music distributors such as to deliver entertainment content.

The Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant has also vowed to expand its e-book and application stores in China. About 66,000 books are available on Kindle's Chinese online store, but only “the most popular” apps are already for download in China.

Amazon pledged to increase investment to lure more channel partners in China, thus increasing market share.

Three new Kindle tablets will go on sale on Wednesday, with prices ranging from 1,500 ($245) to 4,000 yuan.

Amazon is the third largest maker of tablets worldwide in terms of market share. In December, it controlled 7.6 percent of global market share, according to IDC, a research firm.

A separate IDC report shows Kindle's China shipments totaled around 6,300 in the third quarter of 2013, a jump from 2,000 in the previous quarter. The shipments represent less than 1 percent of the nation's total tablet shipments.

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