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Social capital in QQ China: Impacts on virtual engagement of information seeking, interaction sharing, knowledge creating, and purchasing intention

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Grounded in 485 million active user accounts of instant messaging (IM), QQ China features online channels which serve to generate social capital resources and accordingly encourage digital consumers’ engagement. Given the embedded economic potential from QQ's popularity, this study aims to (1) to identify the dimensionality of virtual engagements, and (2) to investigate the impacts of social capital identification on the virtual engagement dimensions (i.e. information seeking, interaction sharing and knowledge creating, and purchasing intention). Results from an analysis of data (n = 216) from China reveal significant impacts of social capital identification on all virtual engagements, while they do not indicate a relationship from knowledge creating to purchasing intention. However, social capital identification directly leads to purchasing intention, which implies the economic potential of QQ's businesses model. Understanding digital consumers’ use of QQ offers a perspective on how companies can use Chinese social media to create meaningful value through an understanding of the Chinese consumer's cultural exclusivity.
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Keywords: Chinese consumer; social capital identification; social media; virtual engagement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of North Texas, USA

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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