Open Access Journal Article

On the Role of the Digital Industry in Reshaping Urban Economic Structure: the Case of Hangzhou, China

by Xuliang Zhang a Chenxiang Elaine Ji b,* orcid Haixia Zhang c orcid Yuchen Wei d  and  Jianwei Jin e orcid
Center for Research of Private Economy, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
School of Public Finance and Taxation, Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics, Hangzhou, China
School of Tourism Management and Urban-rural Planning, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China
School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
Hangzhou City Planning and Design Academy, Hangzhou, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
JEA  2023, 42; 2(4), 42;
Received: 12 May 2023 / Accepted: 19 June 2023 / Published Online: 6 July 2023


The digital economy industry plays a transformative role in reshaping the global production networks, the local division of production, and the integration and innovation of business forms. However, to what extent the industry enables the high-quality development and upgrading of urban economies is unclear. Based on the census data of digital economy enterprises in Hangzhou in 2008, 2013 and 2018, this paper verifies the characteristics of the digital economy industry and its enabling mechanism for high-quality urban economic development. It is found that: firstly, the digital economy industry has three main forms for the economy, namely, the sharing, scale and scope economy. Secondly, the industry has four major mechanisms to improve the quality of urban economies. That is, it can restructure the global industrial division of labor and value chains, promote the transformation of scale economy from the supply side to the demand side, enable the softening and servitization of industrial structure, and generate the scale of economies. This paper thus contributes to understanding the evolution of enterprise organizational structure and industrial competitiveness and the endogenous technological change under the digital economy.

Copyright: © 2023 by Zhang, Elaine Ji, Zhang, Wei and Jin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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ACS Style
Zhang, X.; Elaine Ji, C.; Zhang, H.; Wei, Y.; Jin, J. On the Role of the Digital Industry in Reshaping Urban Economic Structure: the Case of Hangzhou, China. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2023, 2, 42.
AMA Style
Zhang X, Elaine Ji C, Zhang H, Wei Y, Jin J. On the Role of the Digital Industry in Reshaping Urban Economic Structure: the Case of Hangzhou, China. Journal of Economic Analysis; 2023, 2(4):42.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Zhang, Xuliang; Elaine Ji, Chenxiang; Zhang, Haixia; Wei, Yuchen; Jin, Jianwei 2023. "On the Role of the Digital Industry in Reshaping Urban Economic Structure: the Case of Hangzhou, China" Journal of Economic Analysis 2, no.4:42.
APA style
Zhang, X., Elaine Ji, C., Zhang, H., Wei, Y., & Jin, J. (2023). On the Role of the Digital Industry in Reshaping Urban Economic Structure: the Case of Hangzhou, China. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2(4), 42.

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