Jun Zhang

Jun Zhang (张军) is an assistant professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto. His main research interests include: geography of innovation and entrepreneurship, industrial globalization, localization, and restructuring, and geographic theorizing of markets, states, and institutions. Before moving to Toronto in August 2013, he had been a faculty member of the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore since 2007. He has been researching China’s Internet industry since 2001 when he was working on his Ph.D. dissertation project entitled “Market Transition and the Spatial Dynamics of Internet Development in China”, exploring the emergence of China’s Internet industry in the broader context of China’s market-oriented transition and global integration, and the predominant concentration of Internet entrepreneurship and startup firms in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. During 2002-03, he interviewed some 200 leading Internet entrepreneurs and surveyed 100+ major Internet startups at the time. His work on China’s Internet development has been published at China ReviewRegional StudiesEurasian Geography and EconomicsEnvironment and Planning D, and other academic journals. As part of this project and subsequently through his research project on “Venture Capital Development in China” conducted between 2007-2010, he explored the rise of China’s Venture Capital industry partly as a result of this industry’s global expansion and post-crisis restructuring. A paper entitled “The Spatial Dynamics of Globalizing Venture Capital in China” was published at Environment and Planning A. Recently, he has been interested in exploring the broad features of the emerging ‘China Capitalism’ and its multi-scalar dynamics, partly in collaboration with Professor Jamie Peck at University of British Columbia. Some of the research outcomes have been published at Journal of Economic Geography, Regional Studies, and Urban Studies. He has another ongoing research project exploring the technological and spatial strategies of the prominent global electronics manufacturing service provider Foxconn, and its embeddedness and power relations within the global production networks, consisting of Foxconn and its global outsourcing clients, Chinese local states and (migrant) workers. He received his bachelor and master’s degrees from the Department of Geography (later named Urban and Environmental Sciences) at Peking University in 1995 and 1998, respectively. He received his doctor degree in Geography at University of Minnesota in 2007.

Selected Publications:

Refereed Articles

Zhang, Jun and Peck, Jamie (2014) Variegated capitalism, Chinese-style: Polyscalar constructions, Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2013.856514, pp. 1-27. Published online: 09 Jan 2014.

Zhang, Jun (2013) Marketization beyond neoliberalization: a neo-Polanyian perspective to China’s transition to a market economy, Environment and Planning A 45: 1605-1624.

Peck, Jamie and Zhang, Jun (2013) A variety of capitalism… with Chinese characteristics, Journal of Economic Geography 13: 357-396.

Zhang, Jun (2013) Related variety, global connectivity and institutional embeddedness: Internet development in Beijing and Shanghai compared. Regional Studies 47, 7: 1065-1081.

Zhang, Jun (2012) From Hong Kong’s capitalist fundamentals to Singapore’s authoritarian governance: The policy mobility of neoliberalizing Shenzhen, China. Urban Studies 49: 2853-2871.

Zhang, Jun (2011) The spatial dynamics of globalizing venture capital in China. Environment and Planning A 43: 1562-1580.

Zhang, Jun (2009) Industry building as contested market building: knowledge, politics, and the rise of Beijing in China’s virtual economy. Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy 27: 632-646.

Zhang, Jun (2008) China’s dynamic industrial sector: The Internet industry. Eurasian Geography and Economics 49: 549-568.

Zhang, Jun (2006) Market transition, state connections and the Internet geography in China. China Review 6: 93-123.


Book Chapters

  • Zhang, Jun (forthcoming) “Venture Capital in China”, in Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun (eds.) China as An Innovation Nation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Zhang, Jun (forthcoming) Entries on “Firms”, “Free Trade Zone”, and “Venture Capital”, in Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology, edited by Doug Richardson, Noel Castree, Audrey Kobayashi, Mike Goodchild, Weidong Liu, and Dick Marston.
  • Zhang, Jun (2014) “Global economic crisis and the ‘spatial fix’ of China’s world factory,” pp. 132-154, in Yildiz Atasoy (ed.) Global Economic Crisis and the Politics of Diversity, London & New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

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