Whoever has been paying attention to recent news (but not old news) would probably be surprised by the latest Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) moves.
These two moves, broadly publicized, had Amazon doing the following:
- Entering the Chinese market;
- Entering the advertising business in broad competition with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)
Both of these initiatives got significant media exposure, including in CNBC and WSJ, in the following articles: "Amazon sets up shop in China" and "Amazon Prepares Online Advertising Program". Notice how the headlines paint each initiative as if it were something new and promising.
So where's the problem?
Given this media exposure, an uninformed investor could be mistaken to think these were new initiatives, increasing the "already substantial" potential which Amazon.com supposedly exhibits. But were they? Let us see.
Entering the Chinese market
As a fact, Amazon.com entered the Chinese e-commerce market years ago. It did so in 2004, 10 years ago, through the Joyo.com acquisition.
And Amazon.com has been struggling in China ever since, lagging behind many other players, including the market leader - and largest e-commerce company in the world - Alibaba. Indeed, although we cannot be sure, Amazon.com's international losses are often attributed to its longstanding presence in China.
One thing we cannot avoid concluding: there's nothing new about Amazon.com and China, so it's weird to see news headlined as if there were.
Entering the advertising business in broad competition with Google
The same thing repeats with the latest news on Amazon.com challenging Google. This is being presented as if it were something new. But let's read the following article from San Jose Mercury News: "Amazon challenges Google, Facebook with ad network and deep well of data".
Well, do you think this piece got written yesterday? No. It's from April 24, 2013. It was written more than one year ago! In it, you see described the same thing which was seemingly news yesterday and today. How come?
For some weird reason, Amazon.com has not only been trying new stuff left and right, but news about past events are even being recycled. This is very strange, it's like there's a conscientious effort to promote the stock, no matter what it's based on. It's not enough to have analysts purposefully ignoring new facts, now seemingly there's even an effort to recycle old facts as well.
By the way, the same could be said about recent news regarding Amazon.com payments (not the dongle which competes with Square, though). There too, Amazon.com had long been present in the space, and yet news got recycled about it entering the space again.
Disclosure: The author is short AMZN.
The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.