The Growing Dissent Among Amazon’s Chinese Third-Party Sellers

The Growing Dissent Among Amazon’s Chinese Third-Party Sellers

PingWest, 2019

Editorial Rating



  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


China’s cross-border e-commerce has been growing at breakneck pace, and unsurprisingly, China’s small and medium-sized vendors make up the main corps on Amazon’s third-party cross-border online marketplace. Although the partnership is profitable for Chinese vendors, many complain about discriminatory business practices at Amazon. In this investigative report posted on Chinese tech media outlet PingWest, writer Xuan Ning charts the falling-out. Entrepreneurs and consumers will find this fascinating behind-the-scenes analysis intriguing.


Chinese vendors selling to US customers on Amazon’s marketplace platform, bring billions of dollars in profit to e-commerce giant’s bottom line each year. And yet, all is not rosy between Chinese vendors and Amazon. The vendors complain about missing inventories, unfair sales strategies and coercive policies.

When Amazon opened its third-party vendor platform for Chinese vendors in 2012, it attracted Chinese sellers with the prospect of selling directly to its US customers. Amazon promised top-notch logistics and sales support through its service arm, Fulfillment by Amazon. The prospects of lucrative cross-border business attracted Chinese sellers. Within just three years, their number on Amazon’s marketplace grew 13-fold. Of the $42.8 billion profit from third parties, Amazon makes at least $5.3 billion each year off the Chinese vendors, and that’s not counting the bigger ones that have operations in the United States.

But Amazon managers didn’t know how to navigate China’s e-commerce market, which in turn lacked the regulation and oversight that Amazon was used...

About the Author

Xuan Ning is a columnist at PingWest, covering the latest tech happenings in Silicon Valley and China.

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