Spatial Implication of New Information and Communication Technologies on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Case Study of Clothing Industry

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS. Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Faculty of Resource and Environment Science, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050016, China

Received date: 2008-09-13

  Revised date: 2009-01-22

  Online published: 2009-04-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40571047]


The wide application of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been argued to be critical to business success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially to those in the developing countries. Such advances have initiated debates on the spatial implications of new ICTs. Existing literature is mainly concentrated on spatial impacts of new ICTs at urban and city level, while the spatial transformation at firm level has not yet been given enough attention by geographers. Drawing upon existing literature, this paper examines Shangyu clothing cluster in Zhejiang Province and PPG company in Shanghai City as case studies to look into the spatial impacts of ICTs on SMEs. The paper argues that application of new ICTs tends to lead to "dispersed concentration" of SMEs at local level, while "time-cost" plays an important role in transforming the spatial organization of firms under new ICTs.

Cite this article

SONG Zhouying, DING Jianghui, LIU Weidong, LIU Yi . Spatial Implication of New Information and Communication Technologies on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Case Study of Clothing Industry[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2009 , 64(4) : 435 -444 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200904006


[1] Graham S, Marvin S. Telecommunications and the City: Electronic Spaces, Urban Places, London: Routledge, 1996.

[2] Liu Weidong, Zhen Feng. Spatial implication of new information and communication technologies. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004, 59(suppl.): 67-76.
[刘卫东, 甄峰. 信息化对社会经济空间组织的影响研究进展. 地理学报, 2004, 59(增 刊): 67-76.]

[3] Torre J De la, Moxon R W. Introduction to the symposium E-commerce and global business: The impact of the information and communication technology revolution on the conduct of international business. Journal of International Business Studies, 2001, 32: 617-639.

[4] Graham S, Marvin S. Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition. London: Routledge, 2001.

[5] Zhen Feng, Gu Chaolin, New perspectives on spatial structure research in information era. Geographical Research, 2002, 21(2): 257-266.
[甄峰, 顾朝林. 信息时代空间结构研究新进展. 地理研究, 2002, 21(2): 257-266.]

[6] Zhen Feng, Zhu Chuangeng, Zhao Yong. New influencing factors of regional spatial structure in information era. Geography and Geo-Information Science, 2004, 20(5): 98-103.
[甄峰, 朱传耿, 赵勇. 信息时代空间结构影响要素分析. 地理与地理信息科学, 2004, 20(2): 98-103.]

[7] Yan Xiaopei. The impacts of information network on firm's spatial organization. Economic Geography, 1996, 16(3): 1-5.
[阎小培. 信息网络对企业空间组织的影响. 经济地理, 1996, 16(3): 1-5.]

[8] Sohn J, Kim T J, Hewings G D. Information technology impacts on urban spatial structure in the Chicago region. Geographical Analysis, 2002, 34: 313-29.

[9] Yen J, Mahmassani H S. Telecommuting adoption: Conceptual framework and model estimation. Transportation Research Record, 1997, 1606: 95-102.

[10] Liu Weidong. Development of the Internet in China and Its Spatial Characteristics. In: Hayter R, Heron R (eds.). Knowledge, Industry and Environment: Institutions and Innovation in Territorial Perspective. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2002. 87-106.

[11] Capello R. Towards new industrial and spatial systems: The role of new technologies. Papers in Regional Science, 1994, 73: 189-208.

[12] Martin W J. The Global Information Society. London: Aslib Gower, 1995.

[13] Liu Weidong, Peter Dicken, Henry W C Yeung. New information and communication technologies and local clustering of firms: A case study of the Xingwang Industrial Park in Beijing. Urban Geography, 2004, 25(4): 390-407.

[14] Bakis H, Lu Zi. The change from the geographical space to geo-cyberspace: Review of studies of the spatial impacts of telecommunication by Western scholars. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2000, 55(1): 104-111.
[巴凯斯H, 路紫. 从地理空 间到地理网络空间的变化趋势: 兼论西方学者关于电信对地区影响的研究. 地理学报, 2000, 55(1): 104-111.]

[15] Lu Zi. Information Economy Geography. Beijing: Science Press, 2006.
[路紫. 信息经济地理论. 北京: 科学出版社, 2006.]

[16] OECD. Information Technology Outlook, Paris, 2002.

[17] Song Zhouying, Liu Weidong, Liu Yi. Application of new information and communication technologies in local clusters of small and medium-size enterprises: A case study of the shoes-making cluster in Wenling, Zhejiang Province. Progress in Geography, 2007, 26(4): 121-129.
[宋周莺, 刘卫东, 刘毅. 中小企业集群信息技术应用及其影响因素分 析: 以温岭市鞋业集群为例. 地理科学进展, 2007, 26(4): 121-129.]

[18] Huang Wei. Analysis of virtual operation: A case study of Meters/Bonwe. Modern Management Science, 2005, 10, 58-60.
[黄炜. 论虚拟经营模式: 从优势到缺陷—基于对美特斯邦威的虚拟经营之道透视. 现代管理科学, 2005, 10, 58-60.]

[19] Li Li. Evolution of asset-light strategy in clothing manufacturing industry. CEOCIO, 2007, (11): 60-62.
[李黎. 服装业 的轻资产演进. IT 经理世界, 2007, (11): 60-62.]