Why Amazon didn’t make the cut in China

WHEN Amazon announced last week that it was giving up the e-commerce business in China, it wasn’t because of Chinese protectionism. Retail, after all, is almost the only sector where Beijing doesn’t favour the locals. LVMH, Prada, Gucci, Zara, H&M, Uniqlo all prosper. It’s a rare, relatively level playing field for foreign companies, a sector in which local competition must fight long and hard. It’s a place where mighty foreign Internet companies would have supposedly shown their innovative prowess and then achieved dominance in the world’s largest e-commerce market. But it’s a market where Amazon, the largest and most valuable retailer in the world, which has been heralded as the disruptor of many industries, decided to retreat. What happened?

Read more: The Business Times