Amazon Kindle devices are finally coming to China. After so many delays, Amazon finally set a launch date of 7th June to launch Kindle Fire tablets and e-readers in Chinese domestic market. Amazon is not only opening sale of Kindle devices on its own website but through an outside local online sales channel. Suning Tesco is the online retailer that has given option to sale Amazon Kindle devices. Amazon is also have plans to open a branded store in collaboration with Sunning and others as reported by Tech Sina via Techcrunch.
China is a huge country comprising so many people that just to think of it is a mindboggling task. And to imagine a market for your goods among China’s billions of thrifty yet hardworking individuals is a profitable gift not to be taken lightly. All eyes for now are set on the twin giants of Asia: China and India. They are a phenomenon that has been termed “Chindia” by the social trend experts. After Nixon and Tiananmen Square the relations between the West and China thawed and froze in consecutive cycles. However, being a true economic force the Chinese are rising out of their ashes like the proverbial phoenix. That is why many western companies are interested in seeing what lies behind the bamboo curtain.
Take the case of Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and tablets which are about to enter the Chinese market. Ranging in prices from $138 to $244 these fine products are up for grabs in the People’s Republic. They include in their purview the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD. The Chinese language is extremely complex. It contains over 4000 characters which basically consist of pictograms and each one is a universe of meaning just waiting to be deconstructed. Including this Chinese linguistic script in the devices was the first job that got accomplished.
A number of apps were introduced too in the facility for the enterprising Chinese citizens. An online site that is in the Chinese language was launched too. It will link up with people spread out through over 200 nations. There are hurdles along the way, censorship authorities being the biggest one. China is still basically a traditionalist and conservative family-oriented society. While they have taken on the modernistic technology of the world, the Chinese have not given up their eastern respect for seniors or Confucian filial piety.
In the capacity of an authoritarian state, the People’s Republic of China has tasted some freedom but it still has a long way to go when seen from the perspective of Western Civilization. The baby steps taken by Amazon may become giant steps some day but for now there are plenty of pitfalls on the road to China. Local competitors are there and the licensing authorities are refusing to budge from their rigid stance. While in the USA free enterprise lets things flow smoothly, China is a whole different story. Amazon will have to deal with the deadlocks in a diplomatic way otherwise it may lose its advantage in a society that is honor-based and does not like excessive foreign intervention.