Traditional cultural values and government policy influence how Chinese backpackers use technology while travelling, according to new research by the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Researchers found that backpackers enjoy receiving comments and complements on their social media posts, and the process of editing and posting photos. Interacting with comments is an essential element of their trip.
They also highly value digital word-of-mouth recommendations when travelling abroad, making good use of their familiar review platforms, as well as popular ones banned in China. This requires them to learn to use new technologies more commonly used outside their home country.
The findings, published in the Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems, also show that Chinese travellers rely hugely on digital technologies such as Ali Pay and WeChat Pay for mobile payments.
The Chinese concept of guanxi, which requires them to be continuously connected, also influences the way independent travellers use technology. The 'social glue' function of the technology allows them to maintain the high level of connectedness when travelling.
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