Amazon gained entry into China by purchasing local e-commerce website Joyo in 2007 and had been labeled “Joyo Amazon” in the Asian country ever since. But the company dropped “Joyo” from its name today and fully embraced its identity, according to a report by Penn Olson.
While it may not seem so when written in English, this is a significant change from a Chinese perspective because the new name uses a completely different set of Chinese characters. Besides changing its name, the company also pointed the much shorter URL http://z.cn to the Amazon China homepage, which continues to be hosted at http://amazon.cn.
Joyo’s founder Lei Jun sold his company to Amazon for $75 million four years ago, moving the e-commerce website to the Amazon domain name and adding the US company’s branding. Not all traces of Joyo have been eradicated from Amazon’s Chinese operations, however, as the former Joyo president Wang Han0hua continues to lead Amazon’s efforts in China.
It looks like Amazon is keen to keep a unified global branding for its outfits in various countries and is confident enough about the value and recognition of its own brand to be able to let go of the more popular Joyo branding in China. The company is also set to enter India in the first quarter of 2012, so the rebranding in China may be indicative of a growing focus towards its Asian operations.