Amazon has announced that its super affordable Fire tablet will now be available for purchase in China. While the device costs only $50 in the US, Amazon has chosen to launch it at a slightly higher price in China, where it will have a price-tag of 499 Yuan ($78). The American internet giant also says that it has tied up with Baidu, one of the largest internet companies in China with about 70 percent of the online search market, to provide services such as search, apps and online video for its Fire tablets in the country. Baidu runs its own app store, just like most other internet and technology companies in the country, such as Qihoo, Tencent, Xiaomi and Huawei. The company’s app store is the third largest in China and controls around 17 percent of the overall market.
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While no further details have been furnished, it looks as though the Seattle, Washington-based online retailer could well be targeting consumers in the country wanting to learn English, as it points out “access to hundreds of thousands of Kindle books and with English language learning features like Word Wise” as one of the main reasons to buy the device. The launch also seems like part of the company’s strategy to gain a stronger market share and mindshare in one of the most important markets for tech products around the world.
According to Mr. Neil Lindsay, the Vice President at Amazon Devices, “We’ve already sold millions of Fire tablets since launch, and we’re excited to now make it available to customers in China. With millions of readers already using Kindle e-readers in China, we’re excited to now offer another incredibly affordable option, particularly for customers learning to read English. With tools and features like Word Wise and Blue Shade, plus a large selection of Chinese and English content, we think readers will love the new Fire tablet”. As part of the press release announcing the launch, Amazon claims that the $50 Fire tablet has been its fastest-selling tablet to date, so it will be interesting to see how much traction it can gather in one of the most lucrative markets in the world.