SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 107-115.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.01.012

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial Pattern of Urban Resident’s C2C Online Consumption in China: Feasibility of Innovation Diffusion Hypothesis and Efficiency Hypothesis

Kunbo Shi1,2,Yongchun Yang1(),Rui Shao2,Enlong Li1,Wei Zhang1,Tian Yuan1   

  1. 1. College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China
    2. Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium
  • Received:2017-12-08 Revised:2018-02-04 Online:2019-01-10 Published:2019-01-10
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571155)


Consumer’s e-shopping behavior has a pervasive effect on urban physical commerce. To provide a clear insight into understanding of the spatial reconstruction of physical commerce in information era, it becomes a key issue for geographers to investigate the spatial distribution of online consumption. To date, plenty of studies have enriched our understanding by focusing on the key issue, and two hypotheses are proposed. The first is innovation diffusion hypothesis, which states that residents in highly urbanized cities are more likely to adopt e-shopping, because they are always younger, better educated, more affluent, and better internet skills. The second is efficiency hypothesis, which agrees that residents in low urbanized cities are more likely to adopt e-shopping, because they always face a spatial constraint of lower accessibility to stores. However, two hypotheses seem to be opposing to each other, and it is unknown that which hypothesis is reasonable in China. Taking Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) e-commerce of Chinese prefecture-level cities as research objects, this paper attempts to explore the relationship between urbanization level and resident's online consumption likelihood. The result indicates that: 1) The spatial distribution of resident's online consumption follows a hierarchy of decreasing from the east coast areas to the inland areas in China. In particular, two outstanding cores with more consumption share have emerged in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta respectively. And several secondary cores have emerged in Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Xi’an, and so forth. Furthermore, based on Hot Spot Analysis in GIS, a significant agglomeration area is identified in the southeast of China, which represents that there are many cities with high index of online consumption clustering. A significant agglomeration area is also identified in the northwest of China, which represents that there are many cities with low index of online consumption clustering. 2) The proportion of young people, the level of income and the development level of conventional commerce have a promotion effect on resident's online consumption. However, the accessibility level of urban public transportation has an inhibition effect on resident's online consumption. 3) The part concepts of innovation diffusion hypothesis and efficiency hypothesis are reasonable for explaining the spatial pattern of resident's online consumption in China. However, innovation diffusion hypothesis is more reasonable, since the residents who live in highly urbanized cities contribute more online consumption share in China. Given that C2C e-commerce has a substitution effect on urban conventional commerce, east coast cities will suffer more from the reconstruction effect of e-commerce. Thus, the development gap of urban conventional commerce between east coast areas and inland areas, to some extent, will be narrowed in a long run.

Key words: information & communication technologies;, online consumption, innovation diffusion hypothesis, efficiency hypothesis, China

CLC Number: 

  • F713.36/K902