Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 86–99 | Cite as

Comprehensiveness and Locality: Website Marketing of World City Governments in the Era of Globalisation

  • Desheng Xue
  • Huaikuan Liu
  • Wenjiong Guo
  • Ye Liu


In the era of the Internet and globalisation, more and more international academics focus their attention on how city governments compete for talent, capital, and technology through website marketing to promote their economy and global status. However, 1) present research generally overlooks the importance of different types of elements in different marketing themes, 2) the combinations of marketing themes are still unknown, and 3) the presumption that the emphasised elements and specific combination of marketing themes on official websites differentiates cities requires more cases to be understood. In light of this background, this study collects homepage elements of 49 Alpha world cities’ official websites and quantitatively analyses the frequency of different types of elements, the marketing content themes, and the dissimilarity of content of Chinese Alpha world cities. The results indicate that comprehensiveness and locality appear in the process of city marketing throughout official city websites. Overall, we make the following conclusions. 1) The importance of different kinds of elements significantly differs between 49 Alpha world cities. 2) Based on various combinations of elements, the marketing contents of Alpha world cities through official websites can be categorised into six themes of history and culture, government and information, construction and environment, government and living, construction and living, and general compound. 3) The marketing elements of five Chinese Alpha world cities, including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Guangzhou, are different than the other 44 Alpha world cities, and Chinese cities prefer to advertise their history and culture but rarely market citizens’ activities. Moreover, Chinese cities’ marketing mostly targets natives while the other 44 Alpha cities target external groups, and the locality of world cities’ website marketing is reinforced especially on a native language edition website. This study ultimately finds that the Chinese edition websites of five Chinese cities place more focus on introducing local historical buildings, administrative services, and internal business information than the English edition websites do.


website marketing globalisation marketing content comprehensiveness locality 


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Copyright information

© Science Press and Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Desheng Xue
    • 1
  • Huaikuan Liu
    • 1
  • Wenjiong Guo
    • 2
  • Ye Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography and PlanningSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Collaboration and Innovation Center of Coordinating Urban and Rural in Shanxi ProvinceTaiyuan Normal UniversityJinzhongChina

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