De-centering 'spatial fix'--patterns of territorialization and regional technological dynamism of ICT hubs in China

This article critically assesses Harvey's 'spatial fix' thesis through systematically comparing the spatial patterns and dynamics of three key regions of China's information and communication industry. The divergent territorialization is analyzed by broadening the concepts of global pipelines and local buzz to the context of developing countries. The research is based on a large-scale survey conducted in 2006-2007 in three mega-city regions of China: Beijing, Shanghai-Suzhou and Shenzhen-Dongguan. The research found not only marked regional differences in industrial structure, ownership, export-orientation and technological investment, but also a surprising convergence of technological dynamism among foreign and domestic firms within each region. The data established an unmistakable negative association between transnational corporation-led export industry and technological investments. Beijing-the least foreign-oriented region-outperformed all others by a substantial margin in all measures of technological dynamism, highlighting the importance of indigenous R&D for domestic capital and for attracting technology intensive foreign capital.