It appears Amazon is looking at China as its next big market. It unveiled the Amazon Prime membership program for the country Friday.
The program will cost 388 yuan ($57) for Chinese customers, which is cheaper than the $99 membership it offers in the U.S. But it will also offer fewer services — Prime music and video streaming services are not included in the membership. Instead, it would provide customers free shipping on orders above 200 yuan.
Amazon has struggled in the country despite its global market presence and one of the largest product catalogues in the world. It has only between 1 percent and 3 percent of the Chinese e-commerce market share despite being present in the country since 2006.
The Chinese market has been mostly dominated by Alibaba, which operates its Taobao shopping site and sells cheap Chinese products in contrast to Amazon’s range of mostly Western products. Another e-commerce site, JD.com, has a market cap of $36 billion in China and is backed by Walmart.
Amazon recently vowed to invest $3 billion in the Indian e-commerce market, but it is China that CEO Jeff Bezos considers his “meta-mission.”