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The Struggles of Amazon China

27 April 2019

“The secret of adventure, then, is not to carefully seek it out but to travel in such a way that it finds you." - Rolf Potts, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel


This week Greg and I made our way to the Canton Fair in China, joined by his daughter Patricia. What an amazing place! The scale of everything in this country is truly amazing. There's nothing like it. The airports, convention halls, how many cranes there are in the skyline. Really something to see. And we see the growth between each trip here. This is our first visit to the Canton fair, and its been a blast. A lot of high quality manufacturers that regularly supply our big name stores back home. New products that haven't hit shelves in North America or Europe. We will be meeting up with our China trip travelers in a few days in another part of China, and we can't wait to walk the market in Yiwu with them!

Some more China related news:


Well, Amazon can't be great at everything. It looks like the Chinese market has them beat. The consumers here are very different than at home. They expect a bargain with every shopping experience. And a lot of interactivity with the brands they buy from. Think live video QVC style and live video chat for most products they buy. Better than same day shipping across major cities in China. And outstanding brand stories created and promoted on the local sites. The Alibaba properties and JD just have the local market wrapped up right now.

AMAZON's Shrinking E-Commerce Business in China


Some interesting stats from local Chinese inspection company QIMA (used to be called Asia Inspection). We can second the data about manufacturing moving into other countries due to the trade war between China and the US, but this trend started many years ago. India, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam among others have all benefited from the superpower tariff battle. Keep an eye on where manufacturing is going to get the best costs and quality for the types of products you bring into the west.

QIMA Q2 2019 Barometer: Manufacturing in Asia