The digital divide in individual e-commerce utilization in China: Results from a national survey

Shizhan Zhu, Juan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Using data from a national survey with 1,288 respondents, this study investigates the socio-demographic determinants of the first-order digital divide (access to the Internet) and the second-order digital divide (e-commerce use) in China. The survey employed spatial probability sampling technology so it would encompass migrants as well as registered residents. Multiple logistic regressions were applied to model the associations between access to the Internet/e-commerce use and demographic characteristics, socio-economic attributes, and migration and residency status. The results demonstrate the significant effects of rural-urban inequality and socio-economic divisions in Internet access. Age, gender, education, and residency were identified as significant predictors for individual e-commerce use. The findings provide helpful information for enterprises wishing to broaden their business horizons. The research can also be used in designing effective policies to reduce China's digital inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalInformation Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • China
  • digital divide
  • e-commerce use
  • Internet u.
  • rural-urban inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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