Original Articles

Firm Migration of Clusters in East Coastal Areas of China: A Case Study of Lamp-making Clusters in Wenzhou, Zhejiang

  • 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Online published: 2009-05-25


Firm emigration from the east coastal areas in China is generally explained as spatial expansion of firms,and can be attributed to these factors, such as resource scarcity, rising cost, technology upgrade, and environmental regulations. That point of view apparently follows the logic of comparative advantages. This article takes Wenzhou lamp-making cluster in Zhejiang Province as an example to analyze mechanism of firm migration in clusters. Based on the semi-structured depth interviews in Guzhen Town, Guangdong Province - one of the major immigration destination of Wenzhou firms - with local authorities, industrial associations, native firms, and Wenzhou firms, the article demonstrates that the increase of local resource price and the limitation of accessible space in Wenzhou can not be fully explained as powerful driven forces, while scarcity of core technology and deterioration of business environment actually push firms out. Furthermore, network organizations reduce transaction costs and potential risks of firm migration from Wenzhou to Guzhen and strengthen their bargaining power in the immigration area. Besides, such migration is typically cluster-oriented, which means that the competitive advantage based on the collective creativity and governance efficiency drive cluster firms to relocate.Firm emigration to some extent weakens the advantages of Wenzhou cluster. As far as Guzhen Town, firm immigration increases the cluster effects on one hand, and exerts some influence on the local innovation system on the other hand.

Cite this article

ZHU Huasheng1|WANG Jici2|LI Pengfei2|LI Wei1 . Firm Migration of Clusters in East Coastal Areas of China: A Case Study of Lamp-making Clusters in Wenzhou, Zhejiang[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2009 , 28(3) : 329 -336 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.03.002


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