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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jun Zhang, 2011. "Related Variety, Global Connectivity and Institutional Embeddedness: Internet Development in Beijing and Shanghai Compared," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1110, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1110
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1110.pdf
    File Function: Version June 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    related variety; institutions; connectivity; Internet; China;

    JEL classification:

    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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