Starting from last Friday, mainland users can now enjoy free, unlimited shipping from Amazon Prime on orders exceeding ¥200, as well as others from the special "overseas orders" category, as part of a promotion.

To kick off the launch, Amazon is also discounting the Prime membership to encourage signups, priced at ¥188 for the entire first year. The service, which aims to compete with local rivals like Alibaba and, will cost a discounted rate of ¥388 per year after the first year.

With over 65 million people already paying for Prime, Amazon is challenging Alibaba on its home turf, where it currently has more than 434 million active users.

The retailer is targeting the growing middle-class in China that are seeking better-quality goods from abroad. Packages are estimated to arrive within five to nine days in 82 cities across the country, with single orders of more than ¥2,000 requiring additional time, Amazon said in an email statement.