TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 1034-1044.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002896

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Spatial Congregation and Social Segregation of Japanese Expatriates in Guangzhou, China

HUANG Shuyu1,2,XIAO Ling1   

  1. (1.School of Geographical Sciences,South China Normal University,Guangzhou 510631,China;2.GuangDong International Engineering Consultant Corporation Limited,Guangzhou 510010,China)
  • Received:2015-10-29 Online:2016-11-05 Published:2016-11-05


With the development of economy, society, science and technology, the number and space span of global migration both have increased sharply. Moreover, the spatial congregation and social segregation of newcomers have started to be an important issue about foreigner management. In this paper, we focus on Japanese expatriates who are our research object. By the means of semi-structured interview, statistics and information collection, field reconnaissance and other methods, we analyze the condition and reasons of spatial congregation and social segregation of Japanese expatriates in Guangzhou. We find that there are three Japanese clusters have been formed in Guangzhou: 1) Huanshidong Road cluster, 2) Tianhe North-Tianhe South cluster, 3) Wuyang New Town-Zhujiang New Town cluster. The reason why these three clusters have formed is that Japanese enterprises have entered Guangzhou under the terms of global capital allocation and local development response, immediately following Japanese expatriates immigrated into Guangzhou. What’s more, the branch offices or agencies of Japanese enterprises are always located at High-grade office buildings in city center, which also attract Japanese expatriates to live in because of its convenience and comfort. We find that the mechanism of new type migration is different from that of traditional type. Influenced by transnational economy, the new type migration is passive and regular. The spatial distribution of clusters is always related to the distribution of transnational enterprises and the development of urban economy. In the other aspect of research on the social segregation of Japanese expatriates, we find that there are two types of social segregation: actively and passively. And there’s differentiation in the extent of Japanese expatriates’ social segregation, which is connected with their dwelling time in China, gender and age. The longer time in China makes Japanese expatriates less segregated. The social segregation extent of Japanese male expatriates is lower than that of the female, and that of the younger expatriates lower than the olders’. This is due to three kinds of reasons. The first reason is external objective factors, including arrangement by Japanese enterprises, Japanese media, different languages and club activities, bilateral relation and visa policy. The second reason is internal subjective factors, including national characters of Japanese and the differences in work thinking between Japanese and Chinese. The last reason is the transnational economic and social activities. Thereinto, the external objective factors play a basic role, which as preparatory condition, have a great influence on social space of Japanese. The transnational social space constructed by transnational activities of Japanese expatriates has internal unity and external exclusiveness and defensiveness. There are two research findings different from previous research results: 1) High-skilled expatriates who come from the developed countries and immigrate to the developing countries have the property of spatial congregation, and they gathered in convenient and high-end residential area generally. 2) The increase of transnational activities would lead to strengthening the social segregation of migration. Therefore, when analyze the influence of transnational activities on migration, we should consider the social and economic factors of immigration area and emigration area. The individual differences of study object need to be taken into consideration likewise.

Key words: spatial congregation, social segregation, Japanese expatriate, Guangzhou