Tunxi: Urban Sectoral Agglomeration in a Regional Centre of Tea Trade

  • Yi Zou
  • Xi Lin


This chapter situates the socio-economic development of Tunxi since the mid-Ming Dynasty within a wider, global context of trade by examining its tea-making industry and the peripheral supporting sectors. The geographical advantages of Tunxi were converted into a business currency that had as much driven local urban expansion as had attracted a demographic influx of migrant workers from all over the country. In a nutshell, the core industry helped to conceive the urban embryo, which, when mature, would turn outwards to its suburbs for expansion and further development. The developed urban centre could not be sustained unless through the provision of a large number of consumption and financial services, with intensive land utilization due to the concentration of populations.



This research was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (No. 16BZS125).

The authors would like to thank Prof. Hsiu-Ling Kuo, Dr. Yannan Ding, Prof. Maurizio Marinelli, and other participants at the international workshop “Urban Historical Geography of China” for their constructive suggestions on a previous version of this paper. The authors also wish to thank “La Pour Société” (Weishe), an interdisciplinary scholarly forum for early-career social scientists at Fudan University, for the constructive remarks and suggestions made by the members thereof when this paper was presented in its draft forms.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Zou
    • 1
  • Xi Lin
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Chinese Historical GeographyShanghaiP. R. China
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (IAS)Fudan UniversityShanghaiP. R. China

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