Driven by the evolution of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online marketplaces, we examine the role of communication tools (i.e., an instant messenger, internal message box and a feedback system), in facilitating dyadic online transactions in the Chinese C2C marketplace. Integrating the Chinese concept of guanxi with theories of social translucence and social presence, we introduce a structural model that explains how rich communication tools influence a website’s interactivity and presence, subsequently building trust and guanxi among buyers and sellers, and ultimately predicting buyers’ repurchase intentions. The data collected from 185 buyers in TaoBao, China’s leading C2C online marketplace, strongly support the proposed model. We believe that this research is the first formal study to show evidence of guanxi in online C2C marketplaces, and it is attributed to the role of communication tools to enhance a website’s interactivity and presence.
Ou, Carol X.J.; Davison, Robert M.; Pavlou, Paul A.; and Li, Maggie Y., "Leveraging Rich Communication Tools: Evidence of Online Trust and Guanxi in China" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 66.