Spatial Agglomeration and New Firm Formation in the Information and Communication Technology Industry in Suzhou

  • 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology; CAS; Nanjing 210008; China; 
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Beijing 100039; China; 
    3. Department of Geography and IPIA; University of Utah; Salt Lake City; Utah 84112-9155; USA

Received date: 2009-07-08

  Revised date: 2009-11-13

  Online published: 2010-02-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40771053; Ford Foundation of USA, No.1085-1022; Knowledge Innovation Program of CAS, No.KZCX2-YW-321


The high-tech industry is the key to urban development and regional competitiveness in the context of globalization. However, the distribution of the high-tech industry is spatially uneven, and spatial factors significantly influence its location decision and spatial agglomeration. Although the substantial progress has been made in the studies on industrial agglomeration and location in China, little attention has been paid to the intra-city level. This paper analyzes spatial agglomeration and its influence on new firm location decision in Suzhou city, with a focus on the information and communication technology (ICT) industry. Based on point pattern analysis methods, we find that the level of agglomeration exhibits an inverted-U pattern, with the maximum being around 6 kilometers. Temporarily, hot spots of spatial agglomeration shifts from the old city district towards suburban areas, but ICT firms are still mainly concentrated in national-level development zones surrounding the old urban district. Meanwhile, new firm formation is highly correlated to the distribution of existing firms, which is re-enforcing spatial agglomeration. Poisson regression model has revealed the significant role of agglomeration, as well as development zones, transportation conditions and physical environments, in new firm formation.

Cite this article

YUAN Feng1; 2; WEI Yehua Dennis3; CHEN Wen1; JIN Zhifeng1 (1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology; CAS; Nanjing 210008; China; 2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Beijing 100039; China; 3. Department of Geography and IPIA; University of Utah; Salt Lake City; Utah 84112-9155; USA) . Spatial Agglomeration and New Firm Formation in the Information and Communication Technology Industry in Suzhou[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2010 , 65(2) : 153 -163 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201002003


[1] Gordon I R, Mccann P. Industrial clusters: Complexes, agglomeration and/or social networks? Urban Studies, 2000, 37 (3): 513-532.
[2] Porter M. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: Free Press, 1990.
[3] Krugman P. Geography and Trade. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.
[4] Wang Jici et al. Innovative Space: Industrial Cluster and Regional Development. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2001. [王缉慈等. 创新的空间: 企业集群与区域发展. 北京: 北京大学出版社, 2001.]
[5] He C, Wei Y H D, Pan F. Geographical concentration of manufacturing industries in China: The importance of spatial and industrial scales. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2007, 48(5): 603-625.
[6] Wang Zheng, Mao Kejing, Liu Xiao et al. An analysis for location factors that cause industrial agglomeration. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005, 60(4): 567-576. [王铮, 毛可晶, 刘筱等. 高技术产业聚集区形成的区位因子分析. 地理学 报, 2005, 60(4): 567-576.]
[7] Liu Chunxia, Zhu Qing, Li Yuechen. Evaluating the geographic concentration of manufacturing industries of Beijing based on distance-based methods. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006, 61(12): 1247-1258. [刘春霞, 朱青, 李月臣. 基于距 离的北京制造业空间集聚. 地理学报, 2006, 61(12): 1247-1258.]
[8] Song Xiukun, Wang Zheng. The high-tech enterprise location in Shanghai city. Areal Research and Development, 2001, 20(4): 18-21. [宋秀坤, 王铮. 上海城市内部高新技术产业区位研究. 地域研究与开发, 2001, 20(4): 18-21.]
[9] Wu F. Intrametropolitan FDI firm location in Guangzhou, China: A Poisson and negative binomial analysis. The Annals of Regional Science, 1999, 33: 535-555.
[10] Saxenian A. Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
[11] Castells M, Hall P. Technopoles of the world: The making of 21st century industrial complexes. London: Routledge, 1994.
[12] Arita T, Mccann P. A comparative analysis of the location behavior of the US and European semiconductor manufacturers//European Regional Science Association//ERSA Conference Papers, 2003.
[13] Wei Y H D. Beyond the Sunan model: Trajectory and underlying factors of development in Kunshan, China. Environment and Planning A, 2002, 34: 1725-1747.
[14] Yang Youren, Hsia Chu-Joe. The organizational governance of the trans-border production networks: A case study of Twaiwanese IT companies in Suzhou area. Geographical Research, 2005, 24(3): 253-264. [杨友仁, 夏铸九. 跨界生产 网络的组织治理模式: 以苏州地区信息电子业台商为例. 地理研究, 2005, 24(3): 253-264.]
[15] Yang Y R, Hsia C J. Spatial clustering and organizational dynamics of transborder production networks: A case study of Taiwanese information-technology companies in the Greater Suzhou Area, China. Environment and Planning A, 2007, 39: 1346-1363.
[16] Wang, J H, Lee C K. Global production networks and local institution building: The development of the information-technology industry in Suzhou, China. Environment and Planning A, 2007, 39: 1873-1888.
[17] Mills E S. Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics. Vol.2. Urban Economics. North Holland, 1987.
[18] Weber A. Theory of the Location of Industries. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1929.
[19] Isard W. Introduction to Regional Science. London: Prentice Hall, 1975.
[20] Losch A. The Economics of Location. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954.
[21] Marshall A. Principles of Economics. 8th ed. London: Macmillan, 1925.
[22] Rosenthal S S, Strange W C. The determinants of agglomeration. Journal of Urban Economics, 2001, 50(2): 191-229.
[23] Wei Y H D. Regional inequality in China. Progress in Human Geography, 1999, 23(1): 49-59.
[24] Zhang Hua, He Canfei. Locational accessibility and location of foreign enterprises in Beijing. Geographical Research, 2007, 26(5): 984-994. [张华, 贺灿飞. 区位通达性与在京外资企业的区位选择. 地理研究, 2007, 26(5): 984-994.]
[25] He Canfei, Liang Jinshe, Zhang Hua. Locational study of foreign enterprises in Beijing based on an ordered probit model. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005, 60(1): 122-130. [贺灿飞, 梁进社, 张华. 北京市外资制造企业的区位分析. 地 理学报, 2005, 60(1): 122-130.]
[26] Wei Y H D, Leung C K, Li W et al. Institutions, location, and networks of multinational enterprises in China: A case study of Hangzhou. Urban Geography, 2008, 29(7): 639-661.
[27] Lu Weiguo, Chen Wen. Manufacturing industry enterprises location choice and the urban spatial restructuring in Nanjing. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2009, 64(2): 142-152. [吕卫国, 陈雯. 制造业企业区位选择与南京城市空间重构. 地理学报, 2009, 64(2): 142-152.]
[28] Qin Chenglin. An analysis of the allocation characteristics of hi-tech industries. Human Geography, 2003, 18 (5): 38-41. [覃成林. 高新技术产业布局特征分析. 人文地理, 2003, 18(5): 38-41.]
[29] Gottlieb P D. Residential amenities, firm location and economic development. Urban Studies, 1995, 32: 1413-1436.
[30] Luo Ruoyu. A study on the foreign direct investment and the formation and evolution of the industrial cluster of information technology in Tianjing. Ecomomic Geography, 2006, 26(2): 261-264. [罗若愚. 外商投资与天津电子信息 产业群的形成演化研究. 经济地理, 2006, 26(2): 261-264.]
[31] Wei Y H D, Lu Y Q, Chen W. Globalizing regional development in Sunan, China: Does Suzhou Industrial Park fit a Neo-Marshallian District Model? Regional Studies, 2009, 43(3): 409-427.
[32] Wang Yuanfei, He Honglin. Methods of Spatial Data Analysis. Beijing: Science Press, 2007. [王远飞, 何洪林. 空间数据分析方法. 北京: 科学出版社, 2007.]
[33] Wong D W S, Lee J. Statistical Analysis of Geographic Information with ArcView GIS and ArcGIS. New York: John Wiley & Son, 2005.
[34] Wallsten S J. An empirical test of geographic knowledge spillovers using geographic information systems and firm-level data. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2001, 31: 571-59.
[35] Wu Wei, Cao Youhui, Cao Weidong et al. Spatial structure and evolution of highway accessibility in the Yangtze River Delta. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006, 61(10): 1065-1074. [吴威, 曹有挥, 曹卫东等. 长江三角洲公路网络的可达性 空间格局及其演化. 地理学报, 2006, 61(10): 1065-1074.]