Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (6): 1112-1130.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201906004

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial pattern and technology-capital geographic proximity of venture capital firms in Shanghai

LIN Xiao1,2,XU Wei2,3,DU Debin1,2(),YANG Fan1,2,4   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge T1K3M4, Alberta, Canada
    4. The Institute of Information, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai 200235, China
  • Received:2018-01-02 Revised:2019-05-08 Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-06-20
  • Contact: DU Debin
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(414711080)


Venture capital firms (VCFs), target enterprises, and financial firms have close business relations, which are often manifested as the technology-capital coupling. How this coupling relation is mapped onto space, especially the urban internal space with high economic density, is imperative to an understanding of location significance and scalar consistency in geographic space. Using street block as the spatial unit of analysis, this study investigates the spatial pattern and "technology-capital" geographic proximity of Chinese and foreign-owned VCFs in Shanghai based on the cross-section data in 2005 and 2015. The analytical methods include kernel density estimation, temporal hot spots analysis method and spatial Tobit model. The empirical results are as follows. First, Chinese-funded VCFs are characterized by single centered agglomeration and "surface domain diffusion", while foreign-funded VCFs are characterized by polycentric agglomeration and "point domain diffusion". However, both types of VCFs tend to be in close proximity to the place where technology and capital are located. Second, VCFs tend to emphasize location proximity more to capital than to technology. In terms of location proximity to technology, VCFs have a closer relation with high-tech industries than with newly established enterprises. The differences between Chinese- and foreign-owned VCFs in geographic proximity to technology and capital include: (1) Chinese VCFs tend to have a higher propensity in location proximity to capital than foreign-owned VCFs (do), (2) with respect to location proximity to technology, foreign-owned VCFs focus more on business entrepreneurship, while Chinese-funded VCFs prioritize the technology side of high-tech industries. Third, over time, Chinese and foreign-owned VCFs are associated with different location models and temporal evolutionary characteristics, while location proximity to capital, location proximity to technology, capital-technology location proximity, and VCFs agglomeration are four typical and stable location models observed in the study. The findings of this research imply that promoting multi-dimensional location proximity and interactions among firms is significant, especially for knowledge and venture capital based innovation clusters and innovation space development.

Key words: venture capital firms, spatial distribution, location choices, geographic proximity, Shanghai