Watch Now

Today’s Pickup: Amazon ceasing Chinese operations due to insurmountable domestic rivalry

Photo: Shutterstock

Good Day, is ceasing operations in China after a decade long struggle for market dominance with the local ecommerce incumbents., Amazon’s Chinese site, will shut doors on July 18 this year, after which domestic sellers on the platform would no longer be able to sell products to Chinese customers.

Amazon is the latest casualty in the list of American companies that have lost the fight to local Chinese competition. Uber bowed out of China in 2016, selling its operations to rival Didi Chuxing, after incurring substantial losses in the market with no signs of ever turning a profit.

Amazon in China had gradually been sidelined to selling imported international goods, and was surprisingly a tiny player even in that niche, commanding a paltry 6 percent of the imported goods market in the country. Amazon has been in talks on merging its ecommerce business for imported goods in China with NetEase, a local rival, but there has been no confirmation from either of the parties regarding the merger.  


“The relentless falling of availability kind of eased up in the first quarter. But, it’s a tight market where people will find it quite difficult to lease space. The plateauing is a very small crumb of comfort.”

– Richard Barkham, CBRE’s global chief economist and head of research for the Americas, commenting on the difficulty of leasing space in the U.S. warehouse market even after it has cooled down a bit following a long stretch of strong demand.

Did you know?

The United States nearly doubled its oil exports in 2018, from 1.2 million barrels per day in 2017 to 2 million barrels per day in 2018, as per the Energy Information Administration.

In other news:

U.S. shale is upending crude flows in this oil frontier

The U.S. shale boom is upending global oil markets as far as crude flows from West Africa to Europe and other parts of the world, and is squeezing in particular Nigeria’s struggling oil industry. (Oilprice)

Lyft’s fast path into e-bikes has run into trouble

Lyft raced to keep up with the burgeoning e-bike and e-scooter market. Now, it finds its roughly 3,000 e-bikes grounded as the two-wheelers face safety questions over their design and upkeep. (CNN)

Elon Musk is one step closer to constructing Baltimore-DC ‘hyperloop’

Once completed, the hyperloop commute between Baltimore and DC would be a 29-minute ride. (CBS Baltimore)

The scientist, the unicorn and the $700 billion race to create self-driving semi-trucks

TuSimple is a frontrunner in the autonomous trucking space and has raised $178 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. (Forbes)

Cass Truck Shipment Index down 4th consecutive month

The Cass Freight Index, a measure of truck shipments is down for the fourth consecutive month year-over-year. (Money Maven)

Final thoughts

Shared electric scooters are eating into the biking market, with nearly 46 percent of all bike trips in the U.S. being on electric scooters, according to data shared by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). In 2018, 38.5 million of the 84 million micro mobility trips taken were on electric scooters – a statistic that aptly describes the e-scooter rage that has struck the country.

E-scooter startups are some of the quickest to unicorn status (companies that are worth $1 billion or more) and have had investments pour in from venture capital firms and cab hailing giants like Uber and Lyft, who are looking to expand their services across different niches within the on-demand market.

NACTO stated that station-based bikes saw more usage in 2018 than in 2017, but dockless bikes have disappeared to make way for electric scooters. NACTO predicts that this trend would keep continuing this year as well.

Hammer down, everyone!