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Consumer barriers to e-commerce in South China

Tucker, David and Jones, Laurie D. and Chan, Henry (2003) Consumer barriers to e-commerce in South China. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the middle of the last decade China really began to feel the impact of the internet. Within a few years, the World Wide Web (WWW) had experienced rapid growth in terms of network infrastructure, shopping behaviour and numbers of internet users. China currently maintains an annual economic growth of 7%, which is higher than anywhere else in the world. Consequently an increasing number of business are seeing China as an attractive market opportunity. Many such business are seeking to use the internet as their point of access. This study identifies the major barriers to E-commerce as perceived by internet users in the South China regions. South China was chosen as the target population for this study because of the prevailing economic conditions which exist in that region. The study commences with secondary research which identifies the main impediments to E-commerce. These include lack of a nationwide credit card system and high internet access costs. To compliment this research the results of a unique online survey of Chinese internet users is presented. Over two thousand responses were received and analysed. The data provided deeper insights into the main impediments to E-commerce as perceived by Chinese internet users. These were found to be concerns about privacy, censorship and security. The paper goes on to summarise the main findings of this research and describes ways in which the barriers may be removed or their impact lessened. Finally the effects of China’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is assessed.

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