GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1685-1696.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201509007

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A study of the functional features of China's urban service industries

Chunshui ZENG(), Yuming SHEN()   

  1. College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048,China
  • Received:2015-03-09 Revised:2015-06-06 Online:2015-09-15 Published:2015-09-15


A study of the functional features of China's urban service industries can provide scientific support for the development of the urban service sector to an appropriate scale, industrial make-up and spatial structure, and for exploring different routes for development from city to city. Based on a survey of 287 cities at prefecture level and above in China, this paper uses Nelson methods, flow measurement models, B/N ratio and spatial autocorrelation to conduct quantitative research on the functional scale, specialized units and functional strength of urban service industries in various cities in China. It presents an analysis of the level of labor division, development trends and spatial patterns of different service industries. The research demonstrates that China's exported services are highly concentrated in high-end service centers, and that the functional structures of service centers at various levels differ sharply. Geographically, both the import and export of urban services progressively diminish in scale from eastern to central and western China. Sources of exported urban services show no tendency to concentrate in a certain area, but the import of urban services displays a slight concentration in space, where cities are clustered in the same way as major urban agglomerations of China. In different service industries, the levels of labor divisions vary, but are deepening overall. Finally, it was found that imported service industries are of relatively low concentration, and because all cities demand the development of service industries, it is asserted that tailored development strategies should be taken in individual cities.

Key words: urban service industries, Nelson methods, spatial autocorrelation, cities at prefecture level and above