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The Chinese Kindle Store is in Trouble

An Amazon Kindle displays a section of the Chinese edition of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" at the e-Book corner of the Hong Kong Book FairRemember when I reported that Amazon had been getting the Kindles certified in China since 2010 even though they’re  not selling the Kindle there and yesterday decided to launch the Chinese Kindle Store without a Chinese Kindle?

It turns out that the Kindle Store is actually caught up in much the same government paperwork snarls as the hardware; if reports coming out of China are true then Amazon didn’t have the regulatory permissions required to sell ebooks in China.

According to, the General Administration of Press and Publication, a Chinese govt agency responsible for regulating you-know-what, is about to launch a new investigation into the Chinese Kindle Store.

Digital Publishing Director Wang Qiang has gone on the record as stating that Amazon had applied for a license to operate the Kindle Store in China, but that license had not been approved just yet.

It seems that Amazon got around the licensing issue by basically borrowing the license which had been issued to, one of Amazon’s business partners in China. This might or might not be legal, but according to Chinese regulators at the very least they should have been consulted before the Kindle Store launched.

Director Wang Qiang is reported as saying that it is a violation of Chinese regulations, a conclusion he will be repeating when the report is officially filed next week.

Amazon does not seem to be having much luck in expanding into some markets, do they? First there is India, where Amazon had to close the Kindle Store after regulations changed, and then there is Canada, where the Kindle Store launched a couple years behind the UK Kindle Store, and now in China Amazon jumped the gun and is in hot water.

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