Amazon to pull plug on China retail operations: report

Amazon has struggled to compete in China with the likes of Alibaba and JD.com, who are hugely popular in the country. (AFP)
Updated 18 April 2019
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Amazon to pull plug on China retail operations: report

  • Amazon has struggled to compete in China with the likes of Alibaba and JD.com, who are hugely popular in the country
  • It is the latest sign that Amazon would focus its overseas attention on India’s growing market

SHANGHAI: Amazon is planning to close down online retail operations catering to consumers in China, in an apparent admission of defeat to local e-commerce rivals such as Alibaba, a report said on Thursday.
The US e-commerce pioneer will maintain other operations in China such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kindle e-books and cross-border teams that help ship goods from Chinese merchants to customers abroad, Bloomberg News said, citing unidentified people familiar with the plans.
Although dominant in the United States and some other markets, Amazon has struggled to compete in China with the likes of Alibaba and JD.com, who are hugely popular in the country.
This comes despite Amazon’s investment in logistics in China and its acquisition in 2004 of Chinese online book seller Joyo.
An Amazon spokesperson did not explicitly confirm the pull-out plans, but said the company was looking to focus more on cross-border sales.
“Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we’ve seen very strong response from Chinese customers,” the spokesperson said in a statement emailed.
The company was making “operational adjustments to focus our efforts on cross-border sales in China,” the statement said.
It added that “we will continue to invest and grow in China across Amazon Global Store, Global Selling, AWS, Kindle devices and content.”
Bloomberg called the move the latest sign that Amazon, due to the difficulty competing with Chinese rivals, would focus its overseas attention on India’s growing market.


Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

Aramco, the Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom. (File/AP)
Updated 21 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

  • Aramco has been developing its own gas resources
  • The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has entered into a 20-year agreement with US-based Sempra Energy to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its subsidiary Sempra LNG, the two companies said on Wednesday.
The Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom.
Aramco has been developing its own gas resources and eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.
The two companies are also finalizing a 25 percent equity investment in the phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG, they said in a joint statement.
The sale-and-purchase agreement is for 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export project under development, the firms said.
The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities which should enable the export of about 11 mtpa on a long-term basis.
“Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or approximately 45 mtpa of capacity,” the statement said.
Aramco’s trading arm sold its first LNG cargo on the spot market in late March to an Indian buyer, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Aramco plans to boost its gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet (scf) a day from about 14 billion scf now.