Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (10): 1962-1979.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201910002

• Evolution of Economic Geography Patterns • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution of Chinese industrial geography since reform and opening-up

HE Canfei1,2,HU Xuqian1,2   

  1. 1. School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-10-16 Revised:2019-07-08 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-10-29
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41731278);National Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars(No.41425001)


Looking back on the 40 years of reform and opening-up, Chinese industry has achieved rapid growth and development, and Chinese industrial geography has been profoundly reshaped under the profound institutional evolution environment. Chinese industry has undergone a process of spreading in the inland to agglomeration in the coastal areas and then dispersion towards the inland again. However, the geographical pattern of different types of industries is influenced by different forces, leading to differences in the spatial restructuring process. Since the beginning of reform and opening-up in 1978, Chinese industries have been increasingly more agglomerated at different geographical scales, but still much lower than the European Union and the United States. Industrial agglomeration and decentralization drive industrial migration at different scales. In spite of the heterogeneity of industries, industrial migration has generally changed from a scattered layout to an agglomeration pattern in coastal areas; and in recent years, industrial migration has gradually shifted from developed eastern provinces to central provinces, indicating a new round of industrial migration. Remarkable regional industrial entries and exits have promoted the evolution and diversification of local industries. Overall, Chinese industrial space tends to be more complex and concentrated, the links between industries are further strengthened with a more obvious "path dependence" characteristics of industrial evolution in coastal areas. Theoretically, Chinese economic reform is not only the reform of development mode, but also the reform of institutions in essence. The fundamental triple process of marketization, globalization and decentralization has introduced market forces, local forces, and global forces to reshape Chinese industrial geography. And for the study of Chinese industrial geography, besides continuing to summarize patterns and dynamics from multiple perspectives, it is necessary to reveal the deep-level mechanism of the evolution of industrial geography pattern through phenomena, and evaluate the multiple effects of the reshaping of industrial geographical pattern systematically.

Key words: reform and opening-up, industrial geography, industrial agglomeration, industrial transfer, industrial evolution