Marketing and Management on the Internet and Mobile Media
Edited by Teemu Kautonen and Heikki Karjaluoto
Chapter 4: Grey Market e-Shopping and Trust Building Practices in China
4. Grey market e-shopping and trust building practices in China Ronan de Kervenoael and D. Selcen O. Aykac1 INTRODUCTION In the last decade, the wide use of the Internet, particularly through the proliferation of broadband, has dramatically changed the behaviour and lifestyle of many people. China, as a fast-growing emerging economy with a diﬀerent shopping culture, diﬀerent ideology, very large population, increasingly industrial and high-tech society (Gong et al., 2004; Li et al., 2004) forms an interesting case. By the year 2004, there were 94 million Internet users in mainland China. In the most developed urban areas, such as Beijing and Shanghai, more than 25 per cent of the population are reported to be regular Internet users, a level almost equal to that of Spain or the Czech Republic. The China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) (2005) survey indicated that about 62 per cent of Chinese Internet users frequently or sometimes access online shopping websites and about 40 per cent of Chinese Internet users have purchased goods or services through online shopping websites. While searching online for products, one might be amazed by the enormous gap between the price oﬀered by the online sellers and the retail price set by the manufacturers and oﬄine retailers in China. These products might have been sold in small backstreet stores. The only marketing mechanism for their promotion to access potential consumers was wordof-mouth. In this context, trust is understood as a ‘measure of belief in the benevolence and competence...
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