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Sustaining urban growth through innovative capacity : Beijing and Shanghai in comparison


  • Wang Jici
  • Tong Xin


The authors examine the diverse prospects of innovative sectors in Beijing and Shanghai using available indicators and data collected for this study through surveys. Beijing is the first choice for companies locating in China, but foreign employees prefer Shanghai for living convenience and cultural amenities. While Shanghai lags behind Beijing in knowledge creation and the generation of startup companies in the innovative sectors, it takes the lead in the commercialization of technological innovations and the development of creative cultural industries. The municipal authorities of Beijing and Shanghai have improved the innovation environment of the cities, but certain elements still stunt the growth of innovative industries, which cannot be removed easily. Three kinds of knowledge-intensive enterprises included in innovative sectors in the survey are high-tech manufacturers, knowledge-intensive business services, and creative content providers. The survey found that the clustering of the firms arose from the attraction of preferential policies and the purchase by governments or state-owned enterprises of information technology products. The survey shows that interaction among firms is inadequate in the knowledge-based industrial clusters in both Beijing and Shanghai. Hence, it may be some time before clustering leads to substantial gains in collective efficiency for innovative industry in Beijing and Shanghai.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang Jici & Tong Xin, 2005. "Sustaining urban growth through innovative capacity : Beijing and Shanghai in comparison," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3545, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3545

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erik Baark, 2001. "TECHNOLOGY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN CHINA: Commercialization Reforms in the Science and Technology Sector," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 18(1), pages 112-129, March.
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    ICT Policy and Strategies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Water and Industry; Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform;
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