Exploring the materialism and conformity motivations of chinese pirated product buyers

Wah Leung Cheung, Gerard P PRENDERGAST*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


While Hong Kong and Mainland China are fused politically, they are in every other sense quite separate. Product, piracy in China is a serious problem for multinationals wishing to do business there. This study attempts to gain a greater understanding of the profile of buyers of pirated products in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Issues examined include buyers' purchasing behavior, materialistic attitudes and conformity motivation. Two major categories of pirated products were explored: pirated VCDs and pirated clothing and accessories. Personal interviews with more than 700 Hong Kong and Shanghai consumers who knowingly buy pirated products revealed that in both cities pirated products are most often purchased for the buyers and/or their families, and are identified mainly by their price and buying location. Shanghai tended to have a higher number of heavy buyers of pirated products than Hong Kong. Indeed, location was significant in predicting heavy and light pirated product buyers. While materialism did not effectively distinguish heavy from light buyers within either city, conformity was found to have a positive effect on the purchase of pirated VCDs in Hong Kong. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for reducing the market demand for pirated products, and for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-31
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of International Consumer Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Conformity motivations
  • Hong Kong
  • Materialism
  • Pirated products
  • VCDs


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