Muschamp Rd

Online book sales in China

July 30th, 2006

When I interviewed with, one of the questions I asked them was about their Chinese strategy. I’ve lived in a lot of places and while I was living abroad in Germany and Japan, Amazon was a big deal. can be accessed in English or you can have books shipped to Japan from the main site or Canadian one which is more expensive.

Now in China you don’t hear much about Amazon but you do hear about Google or Microsoft even Apple. Books like a lot of things are cheaper in China but quality varies and there is a high level of intellectual property theft. I blogged about my late night encounter with a man and his book cart resulting in me purchasing “The Brothers Karamazov”.

Amazon told me their China strategy was acquisition based. They bought for 72 million dollars. I’d never heard of that company assuming that is the one Russell Dicker was referring to, but I don’t surf the web much in Chinese. However I just read over at China Venture News, which is no longer the same website it was in 2006, that Dang Dang is the leading online bookseller in China since 1999. This seems to contradict the Search Engine Journal piece stating the is the “largest online retailer of books, music, and videos“.

I did some Googling back in 2006 but all the websites I linked to are gone. Even just redirects to Amazon in 2024.

The Chinese system of one party and heavy government involvement even direct control of enterprises continues to be in the news. The Chinese government protects their home market, one of the largest in the world from foreign competition, which has allowed companies like Tencent and Alibaba to grow. They also have their own online payment systems (Alipay, WeChat Wallet) and credit card processing systems (UnionPay). This ecosystem combined with the omnipresence and heavily monitored and censored WeChat makes selling online in China unlike anywhere else.

In 2024 I updated my blog’s taxonomy, this necessitated editing old posts no one reads and no one cares about. Eventually some of them I may just delete, but some of my now almost twenty year old observations proved prescient. If you have thoughts on e-commerce in China or my ability to predict the future you can leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of Muskblog. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.