Online shopping applications (apps), which include digital transactions, have gained great popularity in use and pervaded individuals’ daily lives since their introduction (Amin, 2022). Among which, one of the most well-known online shopping apps in China is “Pinduoduo” (Chang et al., 2019). This mobile shopping application is characterized by its cheap products--the total fees which include shipping costs are even lower compared to that of offline shopping. Hence, many low-income customers, especially those who live in small cities and rural areas, are more inclined to use this app for their daily supplies shopping. Digital divide, is a term originally describing a phenomenon that some people have access to information communication technologies (ICTs) while some others don’t (Van Dijk, 2006). As time goes by, the literature on digital divide has progressed to further levels and details such as digital divide due to the lack of knowledge and skills, and digital divide because of the impact of social, cultural, and economic capital (Yu et al., 2017; Gómez, 2020). As of the Census 2020, China has reported 190.64 million people aged 65 and above, and 36.11% of the populations reside in rural or underdeveloped areas , . Therefore, digital divide remains a huge problem and turns out to be a big challenge in China. This study integrates self-efficacy with cognitive load theory to investigate the online shopping behavior of the elderly and individuals who live in rural areas of China. Self-efficacy theory has been massively deployed in technology-based self-service literature (Thakur, 2018; Li et al., 2018). Bandura (1982) posits that an individual’s own judgements of his 0r her self-efficacy instead of the actual skill sets will lead to the individual’s performance, attitude or response of using a specific product or service (Bandura, 1982). Cognitive load theory, developed by Sweller (1988) on problem solving, is also extensively used in knowledge and schema acquisition, as well as instructions and learning design (Sweller, 1988;1989;1993). Online shopping apps provide an interface, a list of products, and product details to potential customers. Moreover, the process of shopping online is just like completing a technology-based self-service task which involves customers’ cognitive loads. Therefore, through this combination, we aim to explore the digital divide phenomenon via the lens of online shopping for the aging and rural population in China. In line with our hypotheses, we propose that self-efficacy will reduce individuals’ mental effort required to complete a specific task and extraneous load will increase the mental load during the purchasing process. We believe the model we proposed will contribute to the extant IS literature because we provide a cognitive perspective to examine the antecedents of users’ performance towards the usage of IS applications. For IS practitioners, our study can also offer them some insights regarding the improvement and optimization of online shopping apps. For example, to enhance customer loyalty, app developers and service providers are supposed to design online shopping mobile apps as user-friendly and straightforward as possible. 1-https://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/doi/10.46234/ccdcw2022.130 2-http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/PressRelease/202105/t20210510_1817192.html