Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 1, pp 185–196 | Cite as

Do Traditional Chinese Cultural Values Nourish a Market for Pirated CDs?

  • Wendy W. N. Wan
  • Chung-Leung LukEmail author
  • Oliver H. M. Yau
  • Alan C. B. Tse
  • Leo Y. M. Sin
  • Kenneth K. Kwong
  • Raymond P. M. Chow


On one hand, Chinese consumers are well known for conspicuous consumption and the adoption of luxury products and named brands. On the other hand, they also have a bad reputation for buying counterfeit products. Their simultaneous preferences for two contrasting types of product present a paradox that has not been addressed in the literature. This study attempts to present an explanation of this paradox by examining the effects of traditional Chinese cultural values and consumer values on consumers’ deontological judgment of pirated CDs and the amount of social benefits they perceive they gain from them. We interviewed 300 Hong Kong Chinese consumers, and found that face consciousness increased materialism and risk aversion, thereby producing a favorable deontological judgment of pirated CDs. Face consciousness also has a direct effect on the amount of social benefits perceived in pirated CDs. Both favorable deontological judgment and perceived social benefits contributed to a strong intention to buy pirated CDs. The results are discussed in a cultural perspective.


Chinese values face consciousness other orientation materialism risk aversion intention to buy pirated CDs 


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This research was supported by the CityU Small-Scale Research Grant (9030977–880) from the City University of Hong Kong. The Unit for Chinese Management Development, Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong also provided funds for the research. The authors thank the two anonymous JBE reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy W. N. Wan
    • 1
  • Chung-Leung Luk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oliver H. M. Yau
    • 1
  • Alan C. B. Tse
    • 2
  • Leo Y. M. Sin
    • 2
  • Kenneth K. Kwong
    • 3
  • Raymond P. M. Chow
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MarketingCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of MarketingThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Management and MarketingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  4. 4.School of Business & AdministrationThe Open University of Hong KongHomantinHong Kong

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