As dominant as Amazon’s position as the leading online retailer is in most western countries, the Seattle-based company has yet to crack the Chinese market. According to iResearch China, a Chinese market research company, Amazon’s market share in China amounted to less than 1 percent in 2016.
China’s B2C e-commerce market, which is about the same size as the U.S. market by the way, is clearly dominated by Tmall, Alibaba’s business-to-consumer marketplace, which accounted for 56.6 percent of sales in 2016.
Amazon made its ambitions for China clear when the company acquired Joyo, China’s largest online book seller at the time, for $75 million in 2004. Joyo.com was moved to Amazon.cn and renamed Joyo Amazon in 2007 before dropping the old name altogether and being rebranded as Amazon China in 2011.