PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (4): 393-403.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.04.001

• Articles •     Next Articles

Network spatial connection structure of Chinese cities based on bank branches data

Xueguang MA(), Luqi LI   

  1. Law and Politics School, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
  • Received:2016-08-01 Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-04-20
  • Supported by:
    Emergency Management Project of National Natural Sciences Foundation of China, No.41440005;the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China, Ocean University of China, No.201564052


This article analyzes the structural features of China's city network based on bank branches data covering 33 domestic and foreign banks as well as 336 urban administrative regions. The data, which includethe spatial distribution of these branches and their ranks and quantity, are processed using the interlocking world city network (IWCN) model, Zipf law, and social network analysis (SNA). The conclusions are as follows. (1) The connections between five major city agglomerations (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Chengdu-Chongqing, and the middle reaches of the Yangtze River) serve as backbones of the network, and a significant difference of network density between eastern and western China as divided by the Hu Line is discovered. (2) The urban size distribution of interlock connectivity conforms to the Zipf law with a double fractal, and the distribution of each city's degree also suggests a significant difference between cities in eastern and western China. (3) The overall and relative interlocking connectivity of the top 50 large cities vary according to the types of banks that include state-owned, joint-stock, and foreign-owned. (4) A relatively strong correlation between connectivity and economic/population size of cities are also found. The structure of this urban network can be interpreted in terms of general spatial policy and industrial spatial policy, in which the interplay between differentiation and equalization shapes the unique and changing pattern of China's interurban bank network.

Key words: urban network, bank branches, interlocking world city network model, financial geography, China