The Attitudes of Chinese Online Users Towards Movie Piracy: A Content Analysis

  • Yao Lyu
  • Juan XieEmail author
  • Bingbing Xie
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12051)


Movies piracy has raised growing concerns in digital time. However, most studies on movie piracy focused on university students, paying less attention to the exploration of the comprehensive factors among online users, especially in Chinese context. To narrow these gaps, the current study aimed at investigating the attitudes of Chinese online users towards movie piracy and examined the factors that influence the attitudes. Taking a piracy case of a Chinese movie “The Wandering Earth” as an example, we collected 735 comments from two Sina Weibo posts through web crawling. Through a content analysis based on social cognitive theory (SCT), we found that the attitudes of online users ranged from supporting, opposing pessimistically to opposing movie piracy. We also found out outcome expectancies, self-control, social learning, moral disengagement and environmental factors contributed to these attitudes. The factors of users’ attitudes were consistent with the explanation on piracy behavior of SCT and contributed to enriching SCT in Chinese context. This research provided a better understanding of movie piracy among online users with qualitative insights and had some implications.


Movie piracy Content analysis Social cognitive theory Digital piracy Chinese online users 



We thank Dr. Besiki Stvilia for his suggestions on this paper. The second author would like to thank China Scholarship Council (CSC) for financially supporting her visit in Florida State University.

Declaration of Interest



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.School of Information ManagementNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.School of Information ManagementWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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