A cross-culture validation on the predictors of online review helpfulness

Yong Liu, Hongxiu Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


A large amount of studies on online review has been conducted, most of which are based on studying English-speaking reviewers. However, it is unclear whether customers who speak other languages, such as Finnish, German and Japanese, would exhibit similar preference in defining the helpfulness of online review or not? There is a lack of knowledge on how different cultural backgrounds affect users’ evaluation on the helpfulness of online review . The current study seeks to offer valid answer and fresh insights in this regard. Based on a collection of 57,000 online reviews, the study applied Tobit regression analysis to explore the impact of review extremity and review depth on review helpfulness across six different language groups, including English, Finnish, German, Italian, Russian and Japanese. Substantial and significant differences are found between English and non-English review groups. Specifically, review extremity affects the helpfulness counts of English review in a way significantly differing from Russian, German, Italian and Japanese reviews. In addition, the review depth has the strongest impact on the helpfulness count of English review in comparison to reviews in other languages. These findings highlight a need to discriminate English review and non-English in future research as well as in the practice of review management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWHICEB 2017 Proceedings
PublisherChina University of Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventWuhan International Conference on E-Business - Wuhan, China
Duration: 26 May 201728 May 2017
Conference number: 16


ConferenceWuhan International Conference on E-Business
Abbreviated titleWHICEB


  • cultural difference
  • online review
  • user-generated content
  • helpfulness

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