Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (4): 694-709.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201904006

• Population and Urbanization Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The characteristics of urban network of China: A study based on the Chinese companies in the Fortune Global 500 list

Xinzheng ZHAO1,2,3(), Qiuping LI1, Yang RUI1,2,3, Xiaoqiong LIU1,2,3(), Tongsheng LI1,2,3   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity of Shaanxi Province, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    3. Shaanxi Institute of Provincial Resource, Environment and Development, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2017-10-30 Revised:2019-03-11 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-04-23
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41401184, No.41329001;Ford Foundation, No.0155-0883;MOE Project of Humanities and Social Sciences, No.14YJCZH222;Natural Science Foundation of MOE in Shaanxi, No.14JK1753


Based on the data of Chinese enterprises that entered the Fortune 500 list in 2015, this paper uses the eclectic model to construct the inter-city association network. Using the network analysis method, the spatial connection characteristics of 311 inter-city networks at prefecture level and above and 20 urban agglomerations networks in China are examined respectively. The research found that: (1) The overall connectivity of urban network is poor, the centripetal concentration is strong, and the network is not complete. The urban network connection shows a strong tendency of political center cities directivity, coastal cities directivity as well as resource-based cities directivity. The external economic dependence of each node city in the urban network is high, and the urban network structure has obvious flattening characteristics. The network of urban agglomerations is characterized by decentralization of power, differentiation of status and dependence on external connections. (2) The boundary effect of provinces, urban agglomerations and urban agglomerations clubs in the urban network is significant. The network evolution process is influenced by the provincial administrative district economy, the urban agglomerations economy and the urban agglomerations club economy. The size and number of central cities in the region and its surrounding areas have an impact on the provincial administrative district economy, the city agglomerations economy and the urban agglomerations club economy. (3) The function of cities is obviously divided in a multi-scale network. The large cities and regional central cities have a complete and more balanced function system than the small and medium-sized cities do. The radiation effect of three major urban agglomerations in coastal China is significant, while the dominant function of other urban agglomerations needs to be strengthened. (4) The cross-scale regional functional interaction effect of cities (clusters) is significant. The radiation-driven function of cities (clusters) is positively related to their self-agglomeration capabilities. This study provides support for the understanding of urban network model expansion and the spatial relation of urban network in China.

Key words: eclectic mode, urban network, trans-scale correlation, boundary effects