Electronic Markets

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 57–66 | Cite as

Understanding Chinese users’ continuance intention toward online social networks: an integrative theoretical model

  • Yuan Sun
  • Ling LiuEmail author
  • Xinmin Peng
  • Yi Dong
  • Stuart J. Barnes
General Research


This study explores users’ continuance intention in online social networks by synthesizing Bhattacherjee’s IS continuance theory with flow theory, social capital theory, and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to consider the special hedonic, social and utilitarian factors in the online social network environment. The integrated model was empirically tested with 320 online social network users in China. The results indicated that continuance intention was explained substantially by all hypothesized antecedents including perceived enjoyment, perceived usefulness, usage satisfaction, effort expectancy, social influence, tie strength, shared norms and trust. Based on the research findings, we offer discussions of both theoretical and practical implications.


Online social network Continuance intention IS continuance theory Flow theory UTAUT Social capital theory 

JEL classification

M19 - Other 



This research is supported in part by a Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20123326120005), Qianjiang talent Grant in Zhejiang Province (QJC1202013), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2011M500105, 2012T50560). This study is based upon work funded in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71102003/71002092) and the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Y7100626). In addition, this paper is sponsored by Zhejiang Industrial Development Policy Research Center and Zhejiang Provincial Key Research Base––Standardization and Intellectual Property Management (SIPM3230), and it is supported in part by the Contemporary Business and Trade Research Center of Zhejiang Gongshang University which is a Key Research Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Ministry of Education.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Information Management, University of St. Gallen 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuan Sun
    • 1
  • Ling Liu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xinmin Peng
    • 3
  • Yi Dong
    • 4
  • Stuart J. Barnes
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationZhejiang Gongshang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Accounting and FinanceUniversity of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireEau ClaireUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Administration, School of LawZhejiang Wanli UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Banking and FinanceUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Kent Business SchoolUniversity of KentKentUK

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