“One country, two systems”: consumer acculturation of Hong Kong locals

Jeff Jianfeng Wang, Annamma Joy, Russell Belk, John F. Sherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine local consumers’ acculturation process as they observe, encounter and shop with an influx of outsiders. Design/methodology/approach: The multi-year qualitative study (involving in-depth interviews and netnography) investigates Hongkongers’ adaptation to encounters with Mainland Chinese shoppers in Hong Kong. Findings: The authors focus on the world of luxury brand consumption, which plays a key role in signaling a newfound status for Mainlanders, and a change in identity construction for Hongkongers. Hongkongers’ acculturation process in response to large numbers of Mainland luxury shoppers includes emotional responses, behavioral adaptation and identity negotiation. Research limitations/implications: This research has theoretical implications for consumer acculturation theory. Practical implications: This research has managerial implications for consumers’ luxury consumption experiences. Originality/value: First, the authors extend the consumer acculturation literature by focusing on the adaptation of locals to visitors. Unlike other acculturation studies that focus on poorer immigrants from less industrial countries to a wealthy nation, the study focuses on local perspectives of elite Hong Kong consumers about Mainland Chinese visitors who are economically well-off but lack cultural capital. Second, emotions are found to be an important component of acculturation and their causes and consequences are analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Acculturation theory
  • Adaptation strategies
  • Friction and conflict
  • Luxury consumption

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