Industrial Upgrading and Downgrading of Export-Oriented Furniture Firms in the Market Reorientation Towards China’s Domestic Market

Tianlan Fu*, Chun YANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the face of shrinking demands from Western advanced markets after the 2008 global financial crisis, export-oriented supplier firms in China have engaged in the transition from exporting products to Western customers to selling in China’s domestic market. However, the effects of the market reorientation, especially the subsequent industrial upgrading trajectories have been understudied. Drawing upon the perspective of global production networks (GPNs), this chapter attempts to explore the industrial upgrading trajectories of export-oriented firms in their market reorientation from exports to domestic sales. Taking the export-oriented furniture industry in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China as the case, this chapter argues that integration into domestic market-oriented production networks has stimulated industrial upgrading, as well as downgrading of furniture firms. Some competitive furniture firms achieved functional upgrading when they established brands for the strategic coupling with domestic chain retailers, while some showed passive attempts at industrial upgrading or even experienced downgrading. The empirical study demonstrates the mix value capture trajectories combining industrial upgrading and downgrading of export-oriented industries in the process of market reorientation. It could enrich the literature by incorporating market dynamics into the studies of industrial upgrading or downgrading. It aims to explore the implication of the rise of emerging markets (e.g. China) for the industrial upgrading of export-oriented industries in developing countries in the post-crisis global economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelocation of Economic Activity
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Theory and Practice in Local, Regional and Global Perspectives
EditorsPaweł Capik, Magdalena Dej
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319922829
ISBN (Print)9783319922812, 9783030063986
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Furniture Firms
  • Market Reorientation
  • Global Production Networks (GPNs)
  • Functional Upgrading
  • Industrial Furniture


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