Revisit: Digital in China


Digital Marketing and Online Consumer Behavior in China, Special issue Journal of Global Marketing; Deadline 31 Jul 2018

Journal of Global Marketing

Join the Conversation on Digital Marketing and Online Consumer Behavior in China

Deadline: 31 July 2018

We excitedly await your research!

This special issue of the Journal of Global Marketing looks at the digital marketing practices and related online consumer behavior issues in China, a country that is experiencing explosive market growth and expansion in recent decadesMarketing scholars have paid acute attention to various marketing challenges and opportunities related to marketing practices in China. For example, the popularity of e-commerce and social media changes the consumer consumption and purchase behavior, which bring out exciting marketing research topics such as online group purchase (Tsai and Zhang, 2016), Internet friendship in social media (Yang, Chen and Li, 2016), privacy perception and behavior on Weibo (Amos, Goddard and Zhang, 2014), Internet addiction (Zhang and McDowell, 2008), and destination marketing information sharing through microblogs (Zhang, et al., 2016). At the same time, the changing consumer market leads to the development of Chinese advertising industry and brings in the focus on advertising creativity especially using digital media (Bilby, Reid and Brennan, 2016).

China, as the second largest luxury market, sees the increasing consumer purchase power and some exciting consumption trends that drive economic growth and consumer prosperity (Gong, D’Alessandro and Johnson, 2016). On the other hand, the counterfeiting luxury products and consumer attitude toward these products attract special attention of academics (Chan and Xia, 2015; Parker and Schaefer, 2014; Wang and Song, 2013). With the popularity of e-commerce in China, it is more interesting to examine Chinese consumer attitude and purchase behavior toward luxury products offered in online stores. At the same time, there is a need to check foreign consumers’ perception and purchase intention toward merchandises offered by Chinese online retailers. Take Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales in 2016 for an example. Over 14,000 international brands have participated in the shopathon on Singles’ Day. Alibaba hoped to attract oversea customers by hosting a star-studded countdown gala in Shenzhen, China. The company also allowed consumers in Hong Kong and Taiwan to buy discounted products using local currency and payment methods (Wang, 2016). These and other emerging issues show the need to have a special issue on digital marketing and online consumer behavior in China.

Not only business to consumer market in China attracts lots of academic attention, but also the business to business market deserves more research scrutiny (Wang and Song, 2011). China also faces numerous challenges due to its unique market mechanism and the social-cultural differences from western countries. The different level of state ownership of some firms was found to influence the firm innovation due to inefficient use of R&D resources (Zhou, Gao and Zhao, 2017). The unethical business practices also receive increasing research interest (Du, et al., 2017). In addition, the dark side of digital marketing such as consumer privacy and business fraud pose great legal and ethical challenges to business and government agencies in China (Amos, Goddard and Zhang, 2014).

This special journal issue would focus on the following research questions: What factors influence Chinese consumers to purchase through various online channels such as social media, e-commerce websites and mobile apps? How can businesses communicate with Chinese consumers effectively and creatively through digital media? How to tackle marketing channel management issues in the digital age? These research questions for the special issue need not be confined to exploring digital marketing issues in China, but can extend to investigating other interesting areas that would help better understand the online purchase behavior of domestic Chinese consumers or Chinese expatriates or foreign customers who buy Chinese products through online channels. This special issue intends to provide insights to international marketers doing business in China or marketers in foreign countries whose target market is Chinese ethnic group. Both conceptual/theoretical and empirical papers are welcomed, and the special issue is agnostic to any research methods that may be used by contributing authors. More specifically, the call for papers will look at research dealing with the following issues (this is only indicative and not exhaustive list):

  • The impact of social media, mobile media and other digital media on Chinese consumer behavior
  • Online consumer reviews and electronic word of mouth
  • The digital advertising creativity and effectiveness in China
  • Mobile payment or digital payment by Chinese consumers
  • Digital marketing issues in China as compared to Western countries
  • Ethical and privacy issues in China’s digital marketplace

Submission Guidelines

The guest editor intends to bring out through this Special Issue certain set of academic contribution that is relevant in the China context for marketing researchers, policy-makers and marketing practitioners. Full papers should be submitted via the online submission system. The first page must contain the title, author(s) and contact information of the corresponding author. For additional guidelines, please see Instructions for Authors on the journal’s website. Papers suitable for publication in the Special Issue will be double-blind reviewed, following the Journal of Global Marketing’s review process guidelines.


The Special Issue is scheduled to be published in 2019. The following dates would be followed:

  • Submission of full papers: July 31, 2018
  • First feedback from reviewers: September 30, 2018
  • Submission of the revised papers: November 15, 2018
  • Final Acceptance of full papers: December 31, 2018
  • Expected delivery date to Journal of Global Marketing: January 31, 2019

Editorial information

Special Issue Guest Editor: Qin Sun, California State University, Northridge (

Full information is given here: