The Effects of Country of Origin, Consumer Ethnocentrism and Consumer Animosity on Product Preference and Willingness to Buy
This study’s primary aim is to explain Urban Adult Chinese Consumers’ preference between foreign and Chinese products. It examines how Country of Origin (COO), Consumer Ethnocentrism (CE) and Consumer Animosity (CA) influence Urban Adult Chinese Consumers’ product preference and willingness to buy. The existing knowledge is divided on this issue. By reviewing the relevant literature, it is clear that there are two completely different approaches of investigating the impact of COO on Chinese consumers. The researcher of this current study classified the two opposing methods as ‘the simplistic approach’ and ‘the cautious approach’. Studies follow ‘the simplistic approach’ firmly believe Chinese consumers overwhelmingly evaluate foreign products positively and they have a strong preference for foreign products. Research follows ‘the cautious approach’ argues that Chinese consumers’ complexity and internal differences cannot be ignored, some of them prefer Chinese products and they cannot be simply considered as in favour of foreign products. Past studies all concluded that Chinese consumers hold low to moderate level of CE beliefs. However, two investigations concluded Chinese consumers harbour strong animosity towards the Japanese. This study follows the philosophical understanding of pragmatism. The research questions are the most important factors that determine the research strategy and quantitative and qualitative methods can complement each other to address the research problem. This study employs a concurrent embedded mixed methods research strategy that consists of a street survey and semi-structured interviews. Due to the distribution pattern of the quantitative data, this study used non-parametric analysis methods including: Chi-Square Test for Independence, Spearman’s Rank Order Correlations, Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis Test. The qualitative section of the investigation focuses on four issues: how Urban Adult Chinese Consumers (UACC) determine whether a product is foreign or Chinese, sources and background of animosity, the impact of domestic alternatives and areas for Chinese products to improve. This study discovered that UACC’s preference between foreign and Chinese products remain divided. They cannot be simply considered overwhelmingly in favour of foreign products or prefer Chinese products. For those UACC have a preference for foreign products, quality and design are the main two reasons. Desire to support China’s domestic industry and patriotism are the main driving forces behind some UACC’s preference of Chinese products. UACC holds low to moderate level of CE beliefs, which suggests they are worldminded consumers that capable of evaluate foreign products based on merits, without strong negative bias. UACC have strong animosity towards the Japanese, but antagonistic sentiments towards the Americans and French are relatively low. There are complex sources of animosity and this study identified a wide range of factors that contributed to UACC’s strong animosity towards the Japanese. The main area of original contribution of this study concentrates on Consumer Animosity. It discovered a wide range of sources of animosity towards the Japanese and constructed an enhanced animosity model.
- PhD 
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