Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (12): 2759-2776.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202012015

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Structural evolution of global high-tech trade system: Products, networks and influencing factors

DUAN Dezhong1,2(), DU Debin1,2()   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban & Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2019-10-05 Revised:2020-08-11 Online:2020-12-25 Published:2021-02-25
  • Contact: DU Debin;
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(19ZDA087);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901139);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901152);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities


Since 2018, with the major adjustment of the global political and economic structure, Sino-US relations, which take trade friction as the representation and science and technology competition as the essence, have become increasingly tense. Based on this, this paper characterizes the evolution of global high-tech products trade structure from three aspects of product structure, network structure and influencing factors, and draws some conclusions. First of all, in terms of product structure, global high-tech trade is increasingly concentrated on electronic communication products based on telecommunications equipment. However, on the national scale, chemical products and armament products are not only the dependence products of most countries (regions) on imports, but also the superior export products of most countries (regions). Second, in terms of topology, the global high-tech product trade network continues to expand and is closely linked. It is a typical small-world network and develops a stable "core-edge" hierarchical structure. Third, in terms of spatial structure, the global trade pattern of high-tech products has changed from Europe-North America dominated to East Asia dominated, and also the largest trade country has changed from the United States to China. In addition, the spatial structure has changed from the "double arch" structure with the United States as the core to the "multi-arch" pattern with China as the core, but the United States still occupies a central position in the trade network of various high-tech products. Fourth, in terms of influencing factors, trade scale, economic proximity and cultural proximity have positive effects on the evolution of global high-tech products trade network, while geographical distance has an obvious negative effect. The four factors of political stability, openness, infrastructure and technological innovation only pass the significance test on the importing country (region), while the economic scale only passes the significance test on the exporting country (region). The technological gap is one of the driving forces for the evolution of the global high-tech product trade network.

Key words: high-tech trade, product structure, topological structure, spatial structure, influencing factor