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Purpose ‐ The major objective of this study is to explore factors effect in purchasing preferences for foreign brands versus private label brands (PLB) in urban China on the internet. Design/methodology/approach ‐ In this paper, the research is designed to investigate the factors perception mentioned above how to affect consumers' online purchasing PLB intention. Along with literature review, an online survey is conducted to test the conceptual model. LISREL 8 is used to analyses the hypothesized model and a two-step model-building approach is used, in which the measurement models are tested prior to testing the structural model. Findings ‐ Using the data collected in GuangZhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Shanghai and Nanjing cities, it is found that both their direct and indirect effects. Interesting to find, that Chinese consumers' exposure to online products is relatively new, it appears that searching and experience online in reducing their perceived risk of quality concern, and it affects their choice of PLB. Price consciousness is very important to choose domestic PLB across all purchase situations, whereas the other types of factors have differential impact. It seems that Chinese respondents get used to surf on the internet, that is, their perceived risk is not low, which is different from other literatures studied. Originality/value ‐ The paper offers insights into the implications for e-marketers' management of web sites in China.