Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (8): 1031-1043.doi: 10.11821/xb201208003

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China's City Network Characteristics Based on Social Network Space: An Empirical Analysis of Sina Micro-blog

ZHEN Feng1,2, WANG Bo1, CHEN Yingxue3   

  1. 1. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Human Geography Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    3. College of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2012-01-08 Revised:2012-05-22 Online:2012-08-20 Published:2012-10-11
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971094; The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.1115090201

Abstract: The change of urban regional spatial structure influenced by information technology has become a hotspot of research at home and abroad. This study tries to analyze China's city network characteristics from the social network space perspective by using Sina microblog as an example. The result shows that China's city network based on the micro-blog social space has a clear hierarchical structure and level distinction. Firstly, the result shows the existence of regional characteristics, performance as a visible regional development pattern which contains "Three Main-regions and Four Sub-regions" according to the analysis of the level distinction in the city network and the connection rate between cities. Specifically speaking, the three main regions contain the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region represented by Beijing, Pearl River Delta region represented by Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and the Yangtze River Delta region represented by Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. The four sub-regions contain Chengdu-Chongqing region, west coast of the Taiwan Straits region represented by Fuzhou and Xiamen, Wuhan region represented by Wuhan and Changsha, Northeast China represented by Shenyang, Harbin and Changchun. Secondly, the result shows there is a significant difference of the network links among Eastern, Central and Western China. Links within Eastern China and the links between Eastern, Central and Western China constitute almost all of the current network systems. It is also found that the high-level cities have an absolute dominance in the city network pattern, and that Beijing is the contact center in China's city network, with an overwhelming advantage. Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are the sub-contact centers in the China's city nework.

Key words: social network space, Sina micro-blog, China’s city network, connection rate of the network, characteristics