Amazon in trouble with China over counterfeit book charges

The retail giant has been accused of offering counterfeit books through third-party sellers in China, says Chinese news site Sina Tech.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
Amazon's Chinese Kindle store.
Amazon's Chinese Kindle store. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon is facing a few demands from the Chinese government following charges of counterfeit book sales.

China's National Copyright Administration said it recently discovered 36 third-party Amazon sellers hawking books found to have violated copyright laws, according to Sina Tech, as reported by The Next Web.

To remedy the problem, the group wants the retail giant to make four changes: First, Amazon must shut down the 36 sellers in question. Second, it must tighten the criteria through which third-party sellers are approved. Third, it must improve communications between itself, publishers, and the National Copyright Administration and respond to customer complaints. And fourth, it must increase the penalties meted out to vendors who sell counterfeit books.

China's actions are reportedly part of a four-month piracy investigation against several companies doing business in China, including Apple, Baidu, Tencent, and Taobao, the Next Web added. However, Amazon's increased presence in the country may be turning it into more of a target.

Last December, Amazon launched a Kindle store for Chinese consumers. In May, the company opened a Chinese version of its Android Appstore. And earlier this month, Amazon finally kicked off sales of the Kindle Fire HD tablet and Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader in China.