Consumer Adoption Intentions Toward the Internet in China: The Effects of Impersonal and Interpersonal Communication Channels

Yinghong (Susan) Wei and Gary L. Frankwick

Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Tao (Tony) Gao

College of Business Administration, Northeastern University

Nan Zhou

City University of Hong Kong and Wuhan University


The Internet is viewed as an innovation (Prescott, 1997) that impacts the structure and growth potential of national economies in terms of their overall output and employment (DePrince and Ford, 1999). From 2005 to 2006, Internet advertising revenue increased 35.2 percent, from $12.5 billion to $16.9 billion (Marketing Fact Book, 2006 and 2007). However, world online population increased only 12.77 percent, from 1.08 billion to 1.22 billion. With the increasing growth of Internet advertising revenues, advertisers also expect faster growth of the online population through increased Internet adoption. To this end, AOL spent $3 billion in advertising to increase consumer intentions to adopt Internet service at home (Elkin, 2002) despite advertisers’ and researchers’ limited understanding of factors that influence consumer Internet-adoption decisions.