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article imageMerchants based in China are dominating Amazon

By Tim Sandle     May 12, 2019 in Business
Amazon.com is a global marketplace. Given the company's U.S. origins it might be expected that U.S. sellers still dominate in terms of the products on offer. New data, in contrast, shows the dominance of Chinese firms.
According to a survey undertaken by Marketplace Pulse, 40 percent of the top sellers on Amazon are based in China. This represents an increase from up from 26 percent two years ago. A large number of these products are electrical, especially products designed to support primary devices, such as cables and earphones.
The irony with this growth of China-based merchants is that Amazon has not been overly successful in establishing a presence in China, yet companies based in China appear to have been very successful in establishing themselves as the dominant sellers, in terms of geographical locale, on Amazon. From July 18, 2019 Amazon will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn, and the e-commerce giant will no longer be providing seller services. China is a huge e-commerce market, but Amazon only has a 1 percent share after ten years of trying. Chinese consumers tended to go to Alibaba's TMall and JD.com instead.
Data relating to the share of Chinese companies trading on Amazon.com is estimated by the survey (based on data collected from the top 10,000 sellers), since there is no compulsion for Amazon to publish the figures. With Europe, it is mandatory for Amazon to declare where sellers are based. The figures pertaining to Europe reveal:
China market share increased from 28 percent to 34 percent on Amazon.co.uk;
From 26 percent to 28 percent on Amazon.de;
From 41 percent to 47 percent on Amazon.fr
From 41 percent to 45 percent on Amazon.it
From 48 percent to 52 percent on Amazon.es.
This means within Europe, the cross-national mean rises from 37 to 40 percent. In fact, for the U.K., only 11 percent of merchants are based in Britain.
Writing for Forbes, industry commentator Wade Shepard expressing concerns about the reliability of some Chinese products on sale on Amazon.com, writing that a lack of product quality oversight has cleared "the way for the counterfeiters and scammers that have long plagued Chinese e-commerce sites to not only rip off the intellectual property of Western brands but to compete directly against them in the same marketplace, often on the same pages."
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