Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Amazon China in English!

China Amazon in English Xiamen granite stone mill Amoy Xiamen UniversityAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen)

When we arrived in China in 1988, we could buy almost nothing from abroad. We searched all over Xiamen Island and used up our FEC--Foreigners Exchange Certificates, the money used only by foreigners,  which cost us twice the real exchange rate) on our quota of staples like toothpaste in the not-so-friendly Friendship Store. I searched everywhere for toilet paper that didn't burn one's buns like 3M sandpaper. And no cheese, or good bread (I made a 3-day trip to the countryside to lug back a 200 pound granite stone mill so I could pay my sons (yes, child labor) to grind wheat for my homemade bread).

Today, we can find just about anything we'd want in Xiamen, and Taobao (China's eBay) has great selections and prices (though it's hard to pay for stuff), and we have Amazon! But it is now almost impossible to use Amazon.

We used to be able to order things from Amazon back home, but the past year or two, China has required that you must show a Chinese ID card to clear customs. So in effect--only Chinese can use Amazon. But the good news is that China's Amazon site, though not as extensive as ours back home, does have a fairly good selection--and you can surf it in English now!

Here's the link for China Amazon in English.

But here's the bad news: just about everything I wanted on Amazon China was shipped in from Amazon US, with shipping and customs fees costing over half the price of the items themselves--and you still need a Chinese Residence card (in other words--foreigners not allowed). 

Oh well--if you can find it on Taobao, it's cheaper than Amazon anyway (but read the reviews to make sure you get a reputable dealer and a genuine product).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University

Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

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