Amazon.com’s Chinese storefront
Amazon.com now has a
It has 16,039 titles at this point.
That may not sound like much (the USA Kindle store started with about 80,000 title back in 2007), but this is a milestone.
Amazon.com has always had sections for different languages, and still does
It shows these counts:
Other Languages (17,392)
The Other Languages section further breaks down like this:
Show results for
Kindle Unlimited Eligible Kindle Unlimited Eligible (4,437)
Last 30 days (455)
Last 90 days (1,315)
Coming Soon (43)
Scottish Gaelic (8)
Now, those aren’t all the foreign languages in the store, of course…as I’ve written about before, there are even books in Klingon. ;)
However, having books in the store, or having a section in the store…those two aren’t the same as having a storefront.
In the Chinese storefront, the interface is largely in Chinese. The book description was in Chinese.
The reviews that I’ve seen so far are in English.
Amazon does have a store in China
and that is different…there are more than 20,000 titles there just in the fiction section.
The difference mostly has to do with licensing, which in turn is based on copyright.
Just because a publisher as the right to sell a book in China doesn’t mean that it has the right to sell that same book in the USA.
It’s not surprising that more publishers would pay for the rights for a book in Chinese in the Chinese market.
This Kindle Store USA storefront recognizes the large number of Chinese readers in the USA, and I think that’s important.
Amazon can both continue to expand to other markets (they just released the Fire tablet in China), and further serve the USA market.
Admittedly, a move like this is a challenge to local Chinese language brick-and-mortar bookstores. They won’t be able to exist just by having books in Chinese, but I don’t think many of them do. Generally, they are destination shops, in some cases with a cultural familiarity, in others, more of a community connection.
This makes the part to thriving for Chinese language bookstores in the USA essentially the same as the path for English language bookstores: make people willing to knowingly spend more money just to support you.
Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.