Kindle E-Bookstore Withdrawal From China Spurs Questions from Chinese Netizens

Amazon will shutter its Kindle e-bookstore in China next year which has caused some discontent amongst its adherents. On June 10, Jiangsu Consumers Council in China called on Amazon to address consumer concerns.

The decision was made public on June 2nd, after which many who have been using the device have wondered what they are to do next since the Kindle’s e-bookstore works within a closed-loop system, and once the bookstore stops operating, users will be unable to access their purchases. Other netizens think that the file formats Amazon uses for its device, including the azw and azw3 formats, are difficult to adapt to other readers, which may make their e-books become e-waste that takes up space.

Amazon has left a one-year buffer period for consumers to download and backup their purchases locally. The e-reader will still be able to be used through local data transmission after the official download channels are shuttered. However, these measures do not mean that consumers’ rights and interests have been completely protected.

On June 10, the Jiangsu Consumers Council in China voiced the concerns of netizens saying that “it is understandable for enterprises to adjust their business strategies, but the legitimate rights, interests and demands of consumers cannot be ignored”.

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The Council believes that Amazon should shoulder their due social responsibilities, accept consumers’ opinions, and introduce more aftercare policies conducive to protecting consumers’ legitimate rights and interests. Moreover, the Council also hopes that consumers can defend their rights rationally and not lose their confidence in consumption.