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Related Variety, Global Connectivity and Institutional Embeddedness: Internet Development in Beijing and Shanghai Compared

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  • Jun Zhang

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    Abstract

    This paper contributes to the Evolutionary Economic Geography literature by employing the conceptualization of Ôrelated varietyÕ to compare the emerging internet industry in ChinaÕs two largest city-regions: Beijing and Shanghai. Official website registration records, Alexa internet traffic counts, venture capital investment data and information gathered through interviews with internet entrepreneurs were combined to develop the analysis. The findings confirm that the replication and diversification of related variety play a leading role in shaping the locational dynamics of an emerging industry. However, the localized nature of new firm formation should not be taken for granted as transnational entrepreneurship and venture capital are playing an increasingly salient role. The contrasting experience of internet evolution in these two Chinese city-regions also suggests that a regionÕs enduring political-institutional embeddedness significantly influences the generation and evolution of their related variety.

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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1110.pdf
    File Function: Version June 2011
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 1110.

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    Length: 53 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2011
    Date of revision: Jun 2011
    Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1110

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    Keywords: related variety; institutions; connectivity; Internet; China;

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