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Same but different? Mobile technology adoption in China

Jinzhu Song (School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China)
Sukanlaya Sawang (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Judy Drennan (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Lynda Andrews (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to answer two research questions which are “What are key factors which influence Chinese to adopt mobile technology?” and “Do these key factors differ from factors which are identified from western context?”.


The findings from a pilot study with 45 in-depth interviews are used to develop questionnaires and test across 800 residents from the three research cities. The data were analyzed by structural equation modeling together with multi-group analysis.


The data suggest eight important concepts, i.e. utilitarian expectation, hedonic expectation, status gains, status loss avoidance, normative influence, external influence, cost, and quality concern, are influential factors affecting users’ intentions to adopt 3G mobile technology. Differences are found between the samples in the three research cities in the effect of hedonic expectation, status gains, status loss avoidance, and normative influence on mobile technology adoption intention.

Research limitations/implications

As the stability of intentions may change over time, only measuring intentions might be inadequate in predicting actual adoption behaviors. However, the focus on potential users is thought to be appropriate, given that the development of 3G is still in its infancy in China.


Previous research into information technology adoption among Chinese users has not paid attention to regional diversity. Some research considered China as a large single market and some was conducted in only one province or one city. Culturally, China is a heterogeneous country.



This project is funded by Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. LQ12G02008 and by Zhejiang Provincial Education Science Planning Project (2015SCG248). It is supported by the Contemporary Business and Trade Research Center of Zhejiang Gongshang University which is the Key Research Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities of State Education Ministry and Zhejiang Provincial 2011 Collaborative Innovation Center of Modern Commerce and Trade Circulation System Construction at Zhejiang Gongshang University under Grant No. 14SMGK12YB. It is also sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry.


Song, J., Sawang, S., Drennan, J. and Andrews, L. (2015), "Same but different? Mobile technology adoption in China", Information Technology & People, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 107-132.



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