After many delays, Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN)’s Kindle will finally hit the Chinese market on June 7. Aside from Amazon China’s own website, Kindles, including both Kindle Reader and Kindle Fire tablets, will be sold on Suning.com (SHE:002024), a Chinese electronics retailer, as well as in Suning’s brick-and-mortar stores around China.
Last November, Kindle software began to support Chinese. On December 13, 2012, Amazon China added Kindle Store to its website, featuring a wide range of books including "The Flowers of War," the book that the 2011 film of the same name starring Christian Bale was based on, and the Steve Jobs biography, with discounts from 20 to 70 percent off retail prices.
The Kindle itself was originally scheduled to release in China at the end of 2012, according to Sina Tech, a Chinese technology news portal, but soon after the Kindle Store was added, Amazon was investigated by the General Administration of Press and Publication of China for violating China's complicated e-publishing regulations that all but prevent foreign firms from acquiring e-book rights. Amazon has since resolved this hurdle by partnering with Chinese firms.
While the release date has been confirmed, Kindle’s pricing in China is still uncertain. In the United States, a regular Kindle reader is sold for $69. Amazon profits mainly not from the consumer’s initial Kindle purchase, but from subsequent e-book purchases. In China, due to the tricky nature of publishing rights and rampant piracy, many Chinese Kindle users will be downloading books illegally. Amazon is concerned that if it prices the Kindle similarly to its counterpart in the U.S., it will not profit in China. On the other hand, if the Kindle is priced too high, consumers may turn to counterfeit products.
In the past months, in order to combat content piracy, Amazon has shut down many third-party Kindle e-book hosting websites, including iKandou.com, which had 8 million page views per month and was a major Kindle e-book downloading portal, Sina Tech reported.