The US-China trade talks continue. We now hear that a conclusion may arrive in May. Auto parts, an area where China is a major player, are said to be a key issue. We have nothing other than rumors to work on, so it is still too early to say whether the deal will involve anything which eases China in the direction of some kind of systemic reforms. But there were plenty of other developments while we wait. Of which Amazon’s decision to give up and withdraw from the China retail market was of most interest to us.
Bezos is king in so many markets, but the Chinese one has just been impossible. Amazon is not blocked in the same way as other major global internet players such as Google and Facebook, but it of course has been operating at a huge disadvantage in a market dominated by Alibaba, which is having a tough time in the markets dominated by Amazon. Unfair practices or poor business strategies? What was at the heart of the Amazon failure in China? Now there is a topic for MBA classes to ponder.
TikTok, meanwhile, got kicked out of India. The app, the first Chinese-owned internet app to really become a global hit, is owned by Bytedance, and both Apple and Google responded to a request from the Indian government to remove the app from their online stores.
Meanwhile, Beijing reported solid numbers for the first quarter, and the general sense of revival after the economic gloom of winter continued.
Have a good weekend, hopefully bathed in sunshine.