Research into the Chinese market and Chinese consumers did not start until the 1980s; no personal interview–based national surveys existed prior to 1994. This heterogeneous market demands segmentation, but research experience is very limited. To address these gaps, this thesis considers the context of made-in-China television dramas, which are very popular among Chinese families and earn the highest advertisement revenues. Geographic, demographic, and social culture—all key market segmentation variables—may influence appreciation for television dramas.
However, unlike prior research, this thesis considers Chinese regional cultures, in line with the theory of culture communication derived from cultural anthropology. Each regional culture is measured as an integration of different culture traits. Accordingly, this research avoids the limitations associated with measuring culture simply by values. The analysis of differences in appreciation for television dramas provides an opportunity to assess the extent to which the regional culture, geographic factors, or demographic characters are important for market segmentation in mainland China.
The data were collected using a questionnaire survey and feature variables related to geographic sectors, demographic factors, social cultures, and appreciation indexes. The survey was conducted in Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Sian, and Chengdu from July–October 2004, and 1009 qualified persons constitute the sample for the statistical analysis.