The rate of development of open government data (OGD) portals has been fast in recent years due to potential benefits of the utilization of OGD. However, scholars have emphasized lack of use as a key problem in the realization of these benefits. Although studies have been carried out to understand decisive factors in OGD utilization from the aspects of either portals or users, they failed to consider the interaction between the two. Therefore, our study carried out an analysis of the interaction between users and OGD portals during users’ data acquisition process from three aspects: data acquisition methods, data quality requirements, and helping functions. We carried out a survey in a Chinese population to collect data for analysis. Results show users’ high acceptance of keyword search as their method for data acquisition through OGD portals but browsing showed higher usage frequency and was a more stable data acquisition behavior. Females show better acceptance of regular recommendations (e.g. RSS) based on their visiting histories than males. Users’ age, education background and occupation affect their demands of different data quality attributes. Our analysis also shows positive relationship between users’ data acquisition habits with their demands of data quality, users’ need of help with their feelings of difficulties in using the portal, and users’ need of help with their demands of data quality. We suggest promoting OGD utilization by offering better helping functions and improving data qualities in future development of OGD portals.