City networks are multiplex and diverse rather than being regarded as part of a single universal model that is valid worldwide. This study contributes to the debate on multiple globalizations by distinguishing multiscale structures of world city networks (WCNs) reflected in the Internet webpage content in English, German, and French. Using big data sets from web crawling, we adopted a complex-network approach with both macroscale and mesoscale analyses to compare global and grouping properties in varying WCNs, by using novel methods such as the weighted stochastic block model (WSBM). The results suggest that at the macro scale, the rankings of city centralities vary across languages due to the uneven geographic distribution of languages and the variant levels of globalization of cities perceived in different languages. At the meso scale, the WSBMs infer different grouping patterns in the WCNs by language, and the specific roles of many world cities vary with language. The probability-based comparative analyses reveal that the English WCN looks more globalized, while the French and German worlds appear more territorial. Using the mesoscale structure detected in the English WCN to comprehend the city networks in other languages may be biased. These findings demonstrate the importance of scrutinizing multiplex WCNs in different cultures and languages as well as discussing mesoscale structures in comparative WCN studies.
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