“RUBBISH” VS. “BUYER BE AWARE”: A Cross-Cultural Move Analysis of Chinese and American Negative Online Shopping Reviews and Their Corresponding Responses

Yang Li, Anachalee Wannaruk


The present study aims at comparing the move structures of Chinese and American negative
online shopping reviews and managerial responses, and the influence of negative online reviews on peer
customer. The researchers collected 158 Chinese negative shopping reviews from www.jd.com, followed
by 157 managerial responses and 76 peer customer responses, and 156 American negative reviews from
www.amazon.com, followed by 139 managerial responses and 97 peer customer responses, respectively.
The negative online reviews were analyzed into explicitly-impolite and implicit-impolite moves, the
managerial responses were analyzed into rapport-enhancing and rapport-damaging move, and the peer
customer responses were analyzed into agreement and disagreement with the negative online reviews.
After qualitative analysis, the researchers conducted chi-square to examine whether the differences
between the Chinese and American negative online reviews and managerial and peer customer responses
were significant of not. The results show that the American negative online reviewer has matured as a
genre, in that American negative online reviewers not only criticized the commodity, service, etc., but
also warned other customers against making the purchase, while Chinese negative online reviews mainly
aimed at criticizing the commodity, services, etc., leaving the decision to the peer customer. In terms
of managerial responses, the Chinese manufacturer responded significantly more to the negative online
reviewer, but employed more rapport-damaging moves than their American counterpart. By contrast,
the American manufacturer customized their greeting and rectification with a unique reference code,
which make their managerial responses more individualized. As for peer-customer responses, the results
show that negative online reviews had a greater impact on Chinese peer customers than their American
equivalents. The findings may provide directions for the Chinese and American negative reviewers and
the management to adjust their move structures of negative reviews and managerial responses to the
negative online shopping reviews according to target consumers.


negative online shopping reviews; managerial responses; peer-customer responses to negative online shopping reviews; a cross-cultural move analysis

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18002/sin.v10i1.6316


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