Chinese Culture and Internet E-Commerce

Chinese Culture and Internet E-Commerce

Jeffrey Hsu (Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-056-1.ch012


The potential for the Internet and e-commerce in China and Chinese-speaking nations (including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore) is huge. Many experts believe that China will have the second largest population of web surfers, after the United States, by the year 2005 (McCarthy, 2000). Currently, the Internet population in China is doubling every six months (CNNIC, 2001). There are many issues relating to China’s cultural aspects and society, which can impact the design and content of web sites that are directed towards Chinese audiences. Some of these issues include basic differences between Chinese and American/Western cultures, family and collective orientations, religion and faith, color, symbolism, ordering and risk/uncertainty. Attention is given to the differences between the cultures of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as addressing issues brought up by related theories and frameworks. A discussion of important considerations that relate to using Chinese language on the World Wide Web (WWW) is also included. Finally, insights are gained by examining web sites produced in China and Chinese-speaking countries. This chapter will focus on many of these issues and provide practical guidelines and advice for those who want to reach out to Chinese audiences, whether for e-commerce, education, or other needs.

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