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Amazon to Close its Online Biz in China: Report

Meanwhile, Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the US, Britain, Germany and Japan via the retail giant’s global store

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The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Retail giant Amazon will withdraw its domestic e-commerce marketplace business in China, effective from July 18, but will keep operating its other business sections, including Amazon Web Services, Kindle e-books and cross-border operations.

Facing stiff competition from local online marketplace operators, including Alibaba, JD.com as well as the fast-growing Pinduoduo, Amazon’s exit from e-commerce business would be the end of the company’s 15 years of journey into the China market.

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“We are notifying sellers that we will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn (the Chinese-language site) and we will no longer be providing seller services on Amazon.cn effective July 18,” the company was quoted as saying by the Financial Times late on Monday.

Agency data suggested that Alibaba owns 58.2 per cent of China’s e-commerce market in terms of sales, followed by JD.com’s 16.3 per cent and Pinduoduo’s 5.2 per cent, said a Sina report in July 2018, according to the ZDNet.

Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

Meanwhile, Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the US, Britain, Germany and Japan via the retail giant’s global store. (IANS)

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New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)