Diffusion, Use and Impact of the Internet in Hong Kong: A Chain Process Model

Authors

  • Jonathan J. H. Zhu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor in the Department of English and Communication at City University of Hong Kong. He was formerly Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences at University of Connecticut. His work has appeared in Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Monographs, and elsewhere.
      Address: Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone:(852)2788-7186 Fax: (852)2788-8894.
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  • Zhou He

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor in the Department of English and Communication at City University of Hong Kong. He was formerly Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at San Jose State University. His work has appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion, Journalism Monographs, Intercultural Communication Studies, Media, Culture and Society, and Gazette
      Address: Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone: (852)2788-7186 Fax: (852)2788-8894.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address: Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone:(852)2788-7186 Fax: (852)2788-8894.

Address: Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone: (852)2788-7186 Fax: (852)2788-8894.

Abstract

Hong Kong appears to be a dream venue for the Internet as a mass medium: There are a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, a population with both financial resources and bilingual (Chinese and English) abilities, and a legal environment in which there is virtually no government regulation of content. However, recent experience with the slow adoption of other new media in Hong Kong, including cable TV and interactive TV, has sounded a cautionary note about the potential use and impact of the Internet in this technologically sophisticated city. Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 adult residents, this paper examines the adoption, use, and social impact of the Internet in Hong Kong using a chain process model that was initially developed by Dutton, Rogers, and Jun (1987) for research on home computing. The results show that Internet adoption is affected by a full range of factors, including one's personal characteristics, socioeconomic status, socio-cultural settings, and perceived compatibility of the Internet. On the other hand, Internet use is primarily affected by socioeconomic status and perceived compatibility. The study also found that both adoption and use of the Internet have observable impact on leisure activities and concerns for privacy and other Internet-related negative consequences. However, these effects are not overarching but rather confined to specific attitudes and behavior.

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