Guanxi, trust and reward-based crowdfunding success: a Chinese case

Liang Zhao, Tsvi Vinig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to examine different hypotheses concerning the effects of guanxi on the reward-based crowdfunding project fundraising. Specifically, this study provides new insights into how guanxi and guanxi intensity may affect reward-based crowdfunding success and project performance in the Chinese context. Design/methodology/approach: The research data including 989 crowdfunding projects were collected from which is the largest reward-based crowdfunding platform in a one-year period (2014.1-2014.12). The hypotheses are tested by using robust OLS regressions and robust logistic regressions. Robustness check was also conducted to test the validation of the results. Findings: This paper found that project developers’ guanxi-establishing behavior conducted before launching their own projects such as being fans of other projects and supporting other projects are positively related to project success. In addition, the intensity of guanxi-establishing behavior positively influences project performance in a significant way. Besides, the establishment and maintenance of project developers’ guanxi with funders during the fundraising process are also positively associated with project success and fundraising performance. Originality/value: Based on the theory of trust, this paper offers an interesting and novel perspective to investigate reward-based crowdfunding success in the Chinese context by taking guanxi and guanxi intensity into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-472
Number of pages18
JournalChinese Management Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 22 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Guanxi
  • Reward-based crowdfunding
  • Success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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