What influences the purchase of virtual gifts in live streaming in China? A cultural context?sensitive model

Sep 22nd, 2021 | By | Category: RSS Feed


China is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for live streaming, and the purchase of virtual gifts in live streaming is the core for streamers and live streaming platforms in China to survive and thrive. Compared to western countries, live streaming in China highlights the lively social atmosphere and heated social interactions among streamers and viewers. This study develops a cultural context-sensitive model that contextualises the purchase of virtual gifts in live streaming in China. Specifically, we focus on the viewer’s social experience and the social atmosphere in live streaming which have received limited attention yet. We introduce viewers’ social perceptions with regard to the streamer and other viewers (ie, perceived proximity to the streamer and sense of belonging to the viewer crowd) and show how such social perceptions contribute to the development of flow experience, which subsequently leads to purchase intention. This study also reveals how such social perceptions can be shaped by the contextual setting consisting of the IT-related factors of live streaming (ie, responsiveness, two-way communication, social presence, and self-presentation) and the cultural characteristics of China (ie, social orientation and harmony). Our research offers both theoretical guidance for practitioners into cultivating viewers’ purchase of virtual gifts in China’s live streaming.


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