Examples of original evidence

A-B subcase

Channel threshold competition (CTC)

In terms of C2C websites dominated by individual auctions, popularity determines the possibility of trading, which is the same as the shopping mall model. Therefore, China’s C2C firms need to make the cake bigger together. But if they continue to charge fees for login and transaction, it will discourage many people who want to try online transactions and minimize the cost of opening a shop, because they are facing a costly attempt. A C2C website, to enlarge revenue, should open door to welcome any guest ( Li, 2004 , in Chinese).

Tongyu Sun, general manager of, said it all depended on the market and the industry... Premature charges can only shackle and hinder the normal development of China’s individual e-commerce; again called on eBay China and other channels to take the same free strategy ( Alibaba Group, 2005 , in Chinese).

A-C subcase

Transaction security concerns (TSC)

In the early development stage of China’s e-commerce, the transaction process suffered from the existence of fraudulent bankcards and counterfeit products, which plagued sellers and buyers, respectively (Kwak, Zhang, & Yu, 2019) .

B*-C* subcase

Information asymmetry and trading condition limitation (IATCL)

Every day’s huge information recorded by shows that information asymmetry is inevitable. First, there are a wide range of commodities on the C2C platform, so consumers are often confused in their choice and thus cannot buy satisfying commodities. This phenomenon also produces two adverse consequences: the sellers providing genuine products are squeezed by the sellers selling defective products out of the competitive market in price wars; having suffered from inferior commodities, the buyers produce doubts on seller, and thereby abandon purchase when encountering congener again even if they are true articles ( Zhou, 2012: pp. 137-140 , in Chinese).

A-B** subcase

Uncertainty of the opportunity to make money (UOMM)

Our marketing customers are typically brand owners, distributors and merchants who are sellers on our marketplaces. Marketing customers do not have long-term marketing commitments with us. The price a merchant is willing to pay for online marketing services generally depends on its expected GMV, profit margins and lifetime value of customers derived from such marketing investment. If those services do not generate the rate of return the seller expects or rates that are competitive to alternatives, the seller may reduce its spending on the marketing services we offer (Alibaba Group, 2015) .