Abstract. Short message service (SMS) is very popular in China. While many reports indicate that the SMS market has great potential, little is known about why people adopt SMS. This study uses the technology acceptance model and network externalities to examine the factors influencing the adoption of SMS for personal communication in China. Using data collected from 262 mobile phone users, we find that perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment and perceived service cost affect SMS use. Perceived network externalities also contribute to higher perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use and affect SMS adoption. The results provide insight to SMS marketing strategies.