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Amazon cannot use its AWS logo in China, court rules


2021-01-07 10:10:00


A Chinese court has banned the US technology giant Amazon from using its AWS logo in China.

The Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled that the "AWS" trademark belongs to ActionSoft Science & Technology Development Co., a Beijing-based software and data services company, and that Amazon cannot use this trademark or similar logos in China.

The court also ordered Amazon to pay 76.5 million yuan (about $11.8 million) to ActionSoft in compensation.

"Amazon was the first to use the AWS logo in China to sell cloud services by many years," an Amazon representative told the Wall Street Journal.

"We strongly disagree with the court's ruling and have appealed the case to the Supreme People's Court."

At the time of writing, Amazon was still using the term "AWS" on its cloud computing service website in China, with a clarification at the bottom of the main webpage that "AWS" was an abbreviation of "Amazon Web Services" and that it was not being displayed as a trademark.

According to the WSJ, ActionSoft sued Amazon in 2018, accusing the company of trademark infringement and demanding $46m in compensation. The Chinese firm registered a trademark for its own AWS cloud-computing unit in 2004, about eight years before the Amazon registered its AWS trademark with the 'smile' logo.

However, Amazon argued in the Chinese court that it has been using its AWS brand since 2002.

The Chinese cloud market is currently dominated by local firms and AWS is a relatively small player. According to research firm IDC, AWS is the fifth-largest cloud provider in a China in the first half of 2020, with a market share of 7.2 per cent. Alibaba is the number one cloud services provider, followed by Tencent, Huawei and China Telecom.


Author:Kim Eun-jin


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