Guanxi and Chinese brand loyalty

Liane Wai Ying Lee, Yiming Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


This exploratory study examined how brand loyalty can be established in a non-Western market where Chinese customers are motivated to be loyal to a brand by cultural drivers, specifically guanxi (personal relationships) and mianzi (face). The brand loyalty of Chinese customers for financial products in Hong Kong and mainland China was investigated using a qualitative, grounded theory approach. Nine semi-structured, in- depth interviews were conducted with three expert interviewees. The results demonstrate that companies can cement client loyalty through using guanxi as an attitudinal trait to secure introductions in a buyer-seller relationship. Sellers strive to join a client’s guanxi network and then accumulate credit for offering good value and showing respect. They trade favours and later call in debts. This has been one of the first studies to use grounded theory to investigate the influence of key Chinese cultural attributes on brand loyalty to financial products*.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalANZMAC 2014 : Annual Conference proceedings : Agents of change
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2014): Agents of Change - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20143 Dec 2014


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