The New Chinatowns in Europe : Chinese Wholesalers As Urban Economic and Political Actors

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Ya-Han CHUANG, University of Toulouse, France, University Toulouse Jean Jaurès - LISST, France
This paper aims at presenting how capital flows from China reshapes the Chinese market place in European cities. Based on qualitative study in Aubervilliers (France) and in Budapest (Hungary), the research finds that in both cities, Chinese wholesale markets have revitalized the urban economy and transformed the former industrial neighborhoods into global trading hubs. Four consequences are found in both cities : first of all, migrant entrepreneurs integrate into the local growth coalition by adapting their investment strategy the the local governements' vision of urban development. Second, besides their economic influence, they also participate in trans-local city diplomacy and participate in exchange with Chinese municipalities. Third, the investment-led regeneration has created cultural-led regeneration as local government and real-estate actors seek to attract Chinese residents and create residential enclave. Finally, the growth of China's purchasing power and new transport channels such as " the New Silk Road" have urged young generation to innovate their business model (e-commerce and exportation into Chinese market) ; as a result, "Made in Europe, sold in China" becomes the new tendency. To conclude, the evolving dynamics within the Chinese ethnic economy has not only increased the importance of Chinatown in urban politics, but also produced a cultural hierarchy transmitting new image of China as cultural and economy hegemony in the urban diversity politics.