Amazon’s Asian Expansion

“The empire on which the sun never sets” was a phrase often used to describe the British Empire of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but it would be just as apt to describe surging retailing super-power Amazon’s global empire.  The Amazon land grab continues to gather pace with the recent announcement of further invasion plans, including the expansion of the Android based Appstore into nearly 200 countries (previously was only the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan).  Heavily armoured versions of the all conquering super-sonic Amazon Kindle, the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 are set to be deployed in a further 170 countries.

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With America and Europe close to submission, Amazon has its long range ballistic missiles pointed eastwards towards Asia.  It is apparent that Amazon has very different strategies to gain control of the two continental power-houses, China and India.

With regards India Amazon has utilised a siege mentality.  They have sat back and waited patiently whilst India’s own domestic online retailers (e.g. Myntra, Flipkart & Jabong) have fought hard to win over the country’s reluctant online consumers.  It appears only a matter of time before Amazon commences a full ground assault, their tanks running roughshod over the gains made by these guerrilla armies.  Amazon’s recent launch of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing in India can be viewed as a strategic base from which total subjugation of the country appears inevitable.

China will be hoping that they are buffered from Amazon’s global expansion by Tibet (a word you won’t find on Amazon.cn).  At present Amazon controls less than 1% of the Chinese e-commerce market and many strategists are of the opinion that it will be prove to be very difficult for Amazon to penetrate the Great Wall of China and expand their empire eastwards.  Neutral observers have pointed out that Amazon’s efforts may be curtailed by their deal to provide $600m worth of cloud computing services to the CIA, something which one suspects has not exactly endeared them to the Chinese authorities.

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Whilst China’s rapidly expanding navy has been accused of being aggressive in regional maritime disputes with its smaller neighbours, they will find the Amazon fleet a very different proposition.

There is no doubt that Amazon’s autocrat Jeff Bezos, a man described by google engineer Steve Yegge as having a ‘giant brain’, will have carefully planned his empire’s expansion eastwards.  Not only are China and India the most populace nations on the planet with fast growing economies, but Indians are currently the world’s most avid readers, averaging 10.42 hours a week, with China in third place with 8 hours.  Amazon has a history of using literature as a decoy to lure its unsuspecting victims into purchasing other consumer items such as televisions and washing machines.  It seems inevitable that this strategy will be deployed once again.

To be continued.

Click here to read Part 1.

4 Comments

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  • Thanks for sharing a very interesting and enlightening post Guy. You’ve obviously done your research. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future won’t it?

  • Fascinating article on Amazon’s metastasis. Perhaps Bezos’s commercial space flight programme is an attempt to broaden the empire to the final frontier.

    • One would suspect that it is not merely recreational. I don’t know much about the commercial space flight programme. It could be worthy of a post all on its own.

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