The recent literature concerning globalizing regional development has placed significant emphasis on the Global Production Network (GPN 2.0). GPN 2.0 in economic geography emphasizes that regional growth is caused by a shift in the strategic coupling mode from a low to high level. In addition, GPN 2.0 regards firm-level value capture trajectories as key analytical object, rather than the interactive relationships among scalar and divergent actors in GPN 1.0. To provide a better understanding of causal linkages between the GPNs and uneven regional development in the background of globalization and to test the applicability of GPN 2.0 analysis framework, the paper analyzed 62 Korean-invested automotive firms in Jiangsu Province, China. In order to explore the value capture trajectories of lead firms in the GPNs, the authors applied K-means clustering method to quantitatively analyze the local supply networks of lead firms from organizational and spatial dimensions. Then, comparisons were made between strategic coupling modes of GPNs and regional development in North and South Jiangsu. This study found obvious similarities within these two regions but obvious differences between them in terms of value capture trajectories. We observed that North Jiangsu is currently in the stage of “structural coupling”, whereas South Jiangsu is in the stage of “functional coupling.” Thus, this article argues that spatial settings such as regional assets and autonomy are key factors influencing uneven economic development. This research may provide a crucial reference for the regional development of Jiangsu, China.
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