Information accessibility, user sophistication, and source credibility : The impact of the internet on value orientations in Mainland China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)62_Review of books or of software (or similar publications/items)

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002


The Internet has penetrated China at a rapid rate. However, there exist a wide range of constraining forces, such as governmental control, inadequate infrastructure, economic affordability, cultural perceptions, and language barriers. This paper tests the impact of access to the Internet and other sources of information, perceived credibility of the Internet and conventional media, and cognitive sophistication of Chinese audiences on the choice of rival value orientations such as Communism, Materialism, and Post-materialism. The data come from a survey of 2,600 adults in Beijing and Guangzhou in November-December 2000. Multinomial logistic regression analyses show that perceived credibility of the Internet, cognitive sophistication, and access to Hong Kong-based television have a significant impact on the preference for particular value orientations. Analysis of the sub-sample of Internet users further reveals the importance of participation in online chatting. The findings bear important implications for the role of the Internet in the political development of transitional societies.