There is a rumor going around that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is Chinese-owned.
Well, in this guide, we will take a closer look at the origins of the e-commerce giant Amazon, and see if there is any truth to the rumor that a business in China currently owns the retailer!
Is Amazon Chinese Owned In 2023?
Although rumors are swirling that China owns Amazon, there’s no evidence to support this claim. In the early 2000s, Amazon acquired Joyo.com for over $70 million, with an additional $3 million in stock options. This purchase allowed Amazon to expand into a rapidly growing e-commerce market. Amazon’s US website also has many sellers and products from China in 2023.
If you want to get to the bottom of this rumor and learn more about China’s ownership stakes in Amazon, keep reading!
Who Is the Founder of Amazon.com?
Amazon was founded in 1994, when Jeff Bezos started the company in his garage.
What Are the Origins of Amazon.com?
When Jeff Bezos began Amazon, he initially started the company as an online bookseller, and then expanded into other consumer goods and video streaming markets.
Is There a Chinese Version of Amazon?
Joyo (Not owned by Amazon)
Joyo.com was established in 2000 by Chinese entrepreneur Lei Jun, the owner of Kingsoft.
Like Bezos, Jun wanted to make an online bookstore. Soon, Joyo became one of the largest sellers in China of media goods.
By 2003, the company had grown to be one of the largest media retailers globally.
Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. (Not owned by Amazon)
Another company in China, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA), is frequently referred to as “the Amazon of China. ”
Founded in 1999 by 18 people, Alibaba was led by a former English teacher named Jack Ma for nearly two decades.
Until he retired in September 2019, Ma guided the company’s meteoric growth that followed the outline of Amazon.
When Did Amazon Purchase Joyo.com?
In 2004, Amazon.com purchased Joyo for an estimated $75 million, where about $72 million was paid in cash, and only 3 million dollars were spent as stock options.
In addition, this purchase included all subsidiaries and partners owned by Joyo.
Does Joyo.com Still Exist?
When Amazon acquired Joyo.com in 2004, it changed its branding to “Joyo Amazon.”
Later in 2007, Amazon launched the website amazon.cn.
Still, the site continued operating partly independent from other sites owned by Amazon for a couple of more years.
When Joyo became fully integrated into the North American version of its e-commerce platform, it expanded to offer additional products, including technology, cosmetics, and baby products.
What Percentage of Amazon Sellers Come From China?
According to Marketplace Pulse, Chinese sellers now make up 38% of the top brands listed on Amazon.
This is down from 40% at the start of 2019, and a peak in 2020 (42%). There are many possible reasons for this change.
One reason is that recently, Amazon removed some products because they violated the company’s policies around reviews.
Lately, Amazon has been cracking down on fake reviews.
Furthermore, a leaked data set showed that Chinese sellers were giving refunds and discounts in exchange for positive reviews.
Recently, Amazon banned 3,000 seller accounts, although some claim it’s closer to 50 thousand!
Another reason the percentage of sellers is down is because there aren’t as many categories left for Chinese sellers to enter.
How Can Shoppers Tell If a Seller Comes From China?
One easy way to tell is by looking at the seller under “Sold by.” If they are sold from and shipped from Amazon, chances are they have been vetted with Amazon.
However, if there isn’t an “Amazon” listed as the seller, click on the seller’s name for more information regarding their contact info, and other pertinent details about them.
What Percentage of Products on Amazon Originate From China?
It’s challenging to know the exact percentage of products from China, because Amazon doesn’t release country information.
However, some estimates put that percentage at as much as 90% or more.
How Can Amazon Shoppers Tell If a Product Is Made in China?
Since sellers don’t always disclose product origins on Amazon, shoppers can take a few steps to see if a product is made in China.
Q & A Section
First, search the Amazon customer questions and answers section on the product page.
When browsing the Amazon product page, type in phrases like “made in,” or “made,” and see if anyone has asked or answered questions about it.
If someone owns the product, they may list the information from the external packaging or label in this section.
Sellers with the Same Product
Secondly, shoppers can search to see if other Amazon sellers offer the same product.
Many products sold by third parties on amazon are available from multiple sellers.
Often sellers disclose different information, which can help the buyer find out product origins.
Stay Away From Fake Brands
Although Amazon has the policy to crack down on selling fake products, avoiding unfamiliar brands is encouraged.
Recognize Fake Reviews
Several tools like FakeSpot help shoppers automate the detection of fake reviews.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Amazon owns eBay, is Amazon in Japan, and biggest Amazon competitors.
It’s unclear how many shares of Amazon are owned by China. However, there’s no evidence to suggest that China is the majority owner of Amazon.com. Although there is speculation and rumors about this, there’s nothing concrete to back it up.
Nevertheless, China is one of Amazon’s fastest-growing markets, and the company has spent billions to expand its presence, thereby acquiring Joyo.com.