Examining the importance of social media and other emerging ICTs in far distance internationalization: The case of a Western exporter entering China
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We focus on the importance of digital social media for a European B2B firm entering the Chinese market. Our case company has achieved rapid international growth, including within the Chinese market. We find that social media has been an exceedingly important factor in this. The company, however, did not identify China’s digital firewall, which blocks platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, as a major entry barrier. Most of the social media content is produced and published by others, and this is not traditional online product reviews or electronic word-of-mouth expressing viewpoints about the products. Indeed, the majority of content seems to be rather straightforward, simple videos of the products working. Thus, it is imperative to understand what motivates people and organizations to produce and publish these videos. New information and communication technology-based products and services represent major opportunities, and the Chinese market and its customers are evaluated as more open to new solutions than more conservative western countries.