Market Platforms, Industrial Clusters and Small Business Dynamics

Market Platforms, Industrial Clusters and Small Business Dynamics

Specialized Markets in China

Ding Ke

Specialized markets are a unique product of China’s economic transition. They are marketplaces located in industrial clusters, specializing in the wholesale of local commodities and related goods. Ding Ke reveals that, despite their seemingly primitive form, specialized markets appeared in many of the modern industrial sectors and were paradoxically upgraded and expanded as these clusters developed. He argues that specialized markets have also formed solid linkages with marketplaces in various cities in China and in other developing economies. A powerful, emerging market-oriented distribution system has thus appeared. Based on thorough fieldwork covering ten years, and using the novel theory of the platform, this book clarifies the unique development logic of specialized markets.

Introduction

Ding Ke

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics, industrial economics, urban and regional studies, clusters

Extract

Source: The author. Figure I.1 International Trade City: the fifth-generation market in Yiwu As a huge transitional economy, China has her unique development experiences. The Specialized Market that is the subject of this book is a typical example of this uniqueness. Specialized markets (Zhuanye Shichang) are generally marketplaces located in industrial clusters, specializing in the wholesale supply of local commodities and their related goods. Their sellers and buyers are the countless number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In developed countries, such marketplaces appeared on the eve of the industrial revolution and gradually disappeared. In developing countries, most marketplaces have tended to be part of a large informal sector. In contemporary China, however, specialized markets have 1 M2920 – DING 9781781006276 PRINT.indd 1 20/06/2012 13:15 2 Market platforms, industrial clusters and small business dynamics appeared in many of the modern industrial sectors, such as daily necessities, apparel, metalworking, molds, eyewear and cell phones, and were paradoxically upgraded and expanded along with the development of the industrial clusters (Ding 2010; Ding and Pan 2011). The specialized markets on the one hand linked with the industrial clusters, and on the other hand, have extended their tentacles to distant markets. Various smaller markets with names such as Commodity City, Apparel City, Cell Phone City, and Auto Parts City are grouped together in the cities and towns in China. Most of these markets have tight links with specialized markets. Some were even established by the manager of a specialized market itself. It is now...