Amazon sets up Kindle store for Chinese readers

The retailer's new store offers Chinese-language e-books -- although Amazon's Kindle tablets and e-readers aren't yet available in the country.

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
2 min read
Amazon's new Chinese Kindle store.
Amazon's new Chinese Kindle store. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon has stepped its e-book toes into China by launching a Kindle store for Chinese consumers.

The new store mimics the look and feel of the typical Kindle store but offers a wide range of Chinese-language books.

Since Amazon doesn't sell Kindle tablets and e-readers in China, buyers are directed to download the Kindle app for iOS and Android devices.

The store's opening could also be a move toward launching Kindle devices in China.

In June, four Kindle devices, including the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire, received regulatory approval from the State Radio Regulation of China, according to Reuters. Amazon's former China chief told Reuters this year that the company hopes to bring the Kindle to China within two years.

The new store has gotten off the ground with around 25,000 e-books, said blog site GigaOM. That sounds like a fair amount to start, but it can't compete with Dangdang, a major Chinese retailer that offers around 100,000 e-books.

Still, Amazon already seems to enjoy a good reputation among Chinese consumers, many of whom buy Kindles from other countries.

"It seems like there is pent-up demand for Amazon's Kindle," Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based technology firm Marbridge Consulting, told Reuters. ""Amazon is a well-regarded brand both in terms of quality of its products and in terms of its service."

CNET contacted Amazon for comment and will update the story if we receive any information.