Amazon launches Kindle store in China, could pave way for Kindle

SHANGHAI Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:18am EST

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 Fair July 18, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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 Fair July 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has launched a Kindle store for China, the company said on Thursday, selling Chinese electronic books for the mobile Kindle application, in a move that could soon see the device launched in China.

The launch of the store could pave the way for a roll-out of Amazon's Kindle device that has already received authorization from China's radio regulator. Amazon's spokesman, Billy Huang, declined to comment on when the Kindle device would be sold in China.

China's e-reader market is dominated by Hanwang Technology e-readers and Shanda Cloudary's Bambook, but many Chinese people buy Kindles from overseas.

"It seems like there is pent-up demand for Amazon's Kindle," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based technology firm Marbridge Consulting.

"Amazon is a well-regarded brand both in terms of quality of its products and in terms of its service," Natkin said.

Amazon's Kindle store will compete with E-commerce China Dangdang Inc and 360buy, both of which have platforms to sell e-books.

In June, four Kindle models, including the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire and as well as one Kindle keyboard, received approval from the State Radio Regulation of China, the regulatory body for radio and wireless products.

Amazon's former China chief told Reuters this year that the company was in talks with Chinese publishers on content deals and hoped to launch the Kindle within two years.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee)

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