Quan Li, Kynda R. Curtis, Jill J. McCluskey, and Thomas I. Wahl
Washington State University

A consumer survey in Beijing, China, was conducted in August 2002. Although the majority of surveyed consumers reported that they had little or no knowledge of biotechnology, their attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) foods was generally positive, especially for GM foods with product-enhancing attributes. Using dichotomous choice contingent valuation methodology, Chinese consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for GM rice and GM soybean oil in our sample was positively affected by respondents’ positive opinion toward GM foods for both products and by higher levels of self-reported knowledge for soybean oil. However, for GM rice, WTP was negatively affected by the respondent’s age—the older respondents were less likely to choose GM rice. These results imply that, unlike Europe and Japan, there is a potential market for GM foods in China. GM food producers and exporters can use this information to design effective marketing strategies.

Key words: China, biotechnology, genetically modified foods, soybean oil, rice, contingent valuation.