Amazon is setting up shop in Shanghai’s free-trade zone

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Amazon.com is hoping to attract more consumers from China, with a new agreement that will let the U.S. e-commerce company bring millions of products from its international sites to the country as imported goods. The company’s China business made the announcement on Wednesday, with the signing of an agreement to establish its own “cross-border e-commerce platform” in Shanghai’s new free trade zone. Amazon’s imported goods will be shipped to and stored at the free trade zone, where the company plans to build a logistics and warehouse center, it said in a statement. In addition, the U.S. e-commerce giant wants to help local Chinese businesses export their goods to Amazon’s international customers via the trade zone.

Amazon.com will set up shop in China’s Shanghai free trade zone, the company said on Wednesday, aiming to take advantage of less stringent trade regulations to sell a wider range of products in the country. The U.S. online retailer’s move shows an intent not only to remain in China but to beef up its presence in an e-commerce market dominated by Alibaba Group Holding [IPO-BABA.N] and Beijing-based JD.com, the second-biggest player. Amazon signed a memorandum of cooperation to give Chinese customers access to its products from its global supply chain and to help small and medium-sized enterprises in China to export their products to customers in other countries, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Amazon did not say when the company is likely to begin operations in the free trade zone, which enjoys more relaxed import and export regulations than the rest of China. The company is also pushing its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business in China and said in December that the country will have its own AWS region to improve speeds for its mainly corporate customers. However, persistent expansion has come at a cost, leaving Amazon with a $126 million net loss in the second quarter, up from a loss of $7 million in the same period last year. The company also forecast an operating loss of between $810 million and $410 million for the third quarter to Sept. 30, up from a $25 million loss a year ago.

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