General Research

Electronic Markets

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 57-66

First online:

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

  • Yuan SunAffiliated withSchool of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University
  • , Ling LiuAffiliated withDepartment of Accounting and Finance, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Email author 
  • , Xinmin PengAffiliated withDepartment of Public Administration, School of Law, Zhejiang Wanli University
  • , Yi DongAffiliated withSchool of Banking and Finance, University of International Business and Economics
  • , Stuart J. BarnesAffiliated withKent Business School, University of Kent

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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