Welcome to Yifei Sun’s Homepage





Books/Special Issues

Journal Articles

Book Reviews



Department of Geography

California State University, Northridge

18111 Nordhoff St.

Northridge, CA91330-8249

Tel: (818) 677-3529

Fax: (818) 677-2723

Email: yifei.sun@csun.edu



1.      Ph.D. in Geography, 2001, State University of New York at Buffalo.

2.      M. S. in Geography, 1994, Nanjing University, China.

3.      M. A. in Geography, 1997, The University of Akron, Ohio.

4.      B. A. in Urban and Regional Planning, 1991. Nanjing University, China


·         Geog150 “World Regional Geography”


·         Geog206 “Introduction to GIS”


·         Geog306 “ Intermediate GIS


·         Geog324 “China Geography”


·         Geog 351 “Urban Geography”


·         Geog360 “Intro to Spatial Analysis”


·         Geog460 “Spatial Analysis”


·         Geog404 “Urban Field Survey”


·         Geog406 “Advanced GIS


·         Geog690F “Methods in GIS Objects”


·         Geog640C “Industry Location”


·         Geog696 “Graduate Research Design”

Funded Research


My major interests fall within Economic Geography, GIS, Spatial Statistics, and Contemporary China. Particularly, I am interested in technological innovation and urban/regional economic development.


Grants and Fellowships




1.      2013-2014 California State University Chancellor’s Office Wang’s Fellowship

2.      2009-2010 Research Fellow, California State University, Northridge


External Grants




1.                  Sun. Yifei (PI). 2013. “Using GIS to Evaluate the Effectiveness of LADWP Programs in Improving Energy Usage Efficiency in City of Los Angeles.” $45,000

2.                  Sun, Yifei (PI) and Fan, Peilei (Co-PI). 2011. “Chinese Ways of Innovation-Strategic Directions of Research on China Innovation.”  National Science Foundation, $58,187.

3.                     Principle Investigator. 2009. “Travel Grant for Attending AAG.” Sloan Foundation Industry Studies Travel Grant. $5,720.

4.                     Principal Investigator. “Collaborative Research: A Comparative Study of ICT Industry Development in the Beijing, Shanghai-Suzhou, and Shenzhen-Dongguan City Regions in China,” U.S. National Science Foundation, $49,698 allocated for my part. 2006 –2009.

5.                  Principal Investigator. “Foreign Research and Development Investment in China.” U.S. National Science Foundation. $139,863. 2002 – 2006.





Organizers of Important Events


1.                  Sun, Yifei Sun. 2014. “City of Los Angeles Open Data Initiative”

2.                  Sun, Yifei, 2014. “Us and China’s Innovation $ Technology Catch Up.” Workshop, Northridge, CSUN.

3.                  Sun, Yifei and Xielin Liu. 2014. The Founding Meeting of the China Innovation Research Alliance. Beijing, China

4.                  Sun, Yifei and Yu Zhou, 201“China’s Industrial Innovation.” Workshop. Vassar College, NY.

5.                  Sun, Yifei. 2012. Planning and Urban Sustainable Development” Workshop, in Honor of the Chinese Urban Planning Delegation

6.                  Sun, Yifei and Peilei Fan. 2011, “Chinese Ways of Innovation”, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles



Recent Publications

Edited Book

·         Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun (eds),  2016. China as an Innovation Nation.” Oxford University Press.



·         Sun, Yifei, Max von Zedtwitz and Denis Fred Simon (eds), 2008. Global R&D in China. London: Routledge


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Journal Guest Editors


1.      Kalafsky, Ronald V.and Yifei Sun. Guest Editors, 2011.  Special Issue on Asian Manufacturing. GeoJournal. 76(6).


2.      Sun, Yifei and Rongping Mu, Guest Editors, 2010. Special Issue on China’s New Innovation-Oriented Strategy. International Journal of Technology Management 51 (2/3/4).


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3.      Sun, Yifei, Max von Zedtwitz and Denis Fred Simon, Guest Editors, 2007 Special Issue on Global R&D in China, Asia Pacific Business Review 13(3).


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4.      Zhou, Yu and Yifei Sun, Guest Editors, 2006 Special Issue on Science and Technology Development in China, China Review 6 (1).


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Recent Publications


1.            Sun, Yifei and Peilei Fan, 2017. “Technology Spillover.” In The International Encyclopedia of Geography, 15 Volume Set. Edited by Noel Castree, Michael F. Goodchild, Audrey Kobayashi, Weidong Liu, Richard A. Marston.  https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0654

2.            Yang, Guoxia, Shan Shan Shen, Yifei Sun, 2015. “Research on Long-term Community-based Aging-Care Facility System(持续照护社区养老设施体系与其配建规律研究).” Urban Planning )(城市规划), 2015(12): 73-79.

3.            Shen, Shan, Yuanling Cao, Yifei Sun, 2015. “International Perspectives on Smart City Development: Practices and Theories国际智慧城市发展实践与研究前瞻.” Modern Urban Studies (现代城市研究).” 2015 (1): 42-48.

4.            Shen, Shan, Yuanling Cao, Yifei Sun, 2015, “Human-Centered Spatial Organization of Smart City (人本主义理念下的智慧城市空间组织研究). Research on Development (开发研究). 2015(5): 119-124.

5.            Zhang, Peng, Canfei He, and Yifei Sun, 2014. “Agglomeration economies and firm R&D efforts: an analysis of China’s electronics and telecommunications industries” Annals of Regional Science, 53(3): 571-701.

6.           Sun, Yifei, Yu Zhou, George C.S. Lin, and Denis Y. H. Wei. 2013. “Subcontracting and Supplier Innovativeness: Evidence from China’s Information and Communication Technology Industry.” Regional Studies. 47(10): 1766-1784.

7.            Sun, Yifei. 2011. “Location of Foreign Research and Development in China.” GeoJournal, 76(6): 589-604.

8.            Sun, Yifei and Debin, Du. 2011. “Determinants of Industrial Innovation in China: Evidence from Its Recent Economic Census.” Technovation, 30(9/10): 540-550.

9.            Sun, Yifei and Debin Du. 2011. “Domestic Firm Innovation and Networking with Foreign Firms in China’s ICT Industry.” Environment and Planning A. 43(4): 786-809.

10.        Sun, Yifei and Yu Zhou, 2011. “Innovation and In-firm Technological Networking: Evidence from China’s Information Communication Technology Industry.” Erdkunde. 65 (1): 55-70.

11.        Lin, C. S. George, Yu Zhou, Yifei Sun, and Denis Y. H. Wei, 2011. “Placing technological innovation in globalizing China: production linkage, knowledge exchange, and innovative performance of the ICT industry in a developing economy.” Urban Studies 48(14): 2999 – 3018.

12.        Wei, Yehua Dennis, Yu Zhou, Yifei Sun and George C.S. Lin, 2011. “Production and R&D networks of foreign ventures in China: Implications for technological dynamism and regional development.” Applied Geography, 32: 106-118.

13.        Yu Zhou, Yifei Sun, Y. H. Dennis Wei and George C.S. Lin. 2011. “De-centering ‘spatial fix’-patterns of territorialization and regional technological dynamism of ICT hubs in China.” Journal of Economic Geography, 11: 119-150.

14.        Sun, Yifei and Rongping Mu, guest editors. 2010. “Editorial: Introduction to the special Issue on China’s New Innovation-Oriented Strategy”, International Journal of Technology Management, 51 (2/3/4): 159-167.

15.        Sun, Yifei. 2010. “What Matters for Industrial Innovation in China: R&D, Technology Transfer or Spillover Impacts from Foreign Investment?” International Journal of Business System Research, 4(5/6): 621-647.


16.        Sun, Yifei. 2010 “Foreign Research and Development in China: A Sectoral Approach.” International Journal of Technology Management, 51 (2/3/4): 342-363.

17.        Sun, Yifei and Hongyang Wang.2008 “How to develop High-Tech Industry Clusters in Less Developed Areas (Experiences from Austin, TX and North Carolina Research Triangle (次发达地区如何发展高新技术产业群: 来自美国德州奥斯汀和北卡研究三角园的启示).” In Annual Report of S&T Developmentof China 2006-2007 (中国科技发展报告2006-2007), Edited by LIU Xielin. Beijing: Intellectual Property Press. Chapter 8: 71-81

18.        Sun, Yifei, Maximilian von Zedtwitz and Denis Fred Simon. 2007. “Globalization of R&D and China: an Introduction.” Asia Pacific Business Review, 13(3): 311-319.

19.        Sun, Yifei and Ke Wen. 2007. “Uncertainties, Imitating behaviors and Foreign R&D Locations: Explaining the Over-concentration of Foreign R&D in Beijing and Shanghai within China.” Asia Pacific Business Review, 13(3): 405-424.

20.        Sun, Yifei and Ke Wen. 2007. “Country Relational Distance, Organizational Power and R&D Managers: Understanding Environmental Challenges for Foreign R&D in China.” Asia Pacific Business Review, 13(3): 425-450.

21.        Sun, Yifei and Hongyang Wang. 2007. “A Spatial Strategy for High-Quality Labor in Rural Development: A Case Study of Jiangsu, China.” Chinese Geographical Science 17(2): 117-126.

22.        Sun, Yifei and Ke Wen. 2006. “Imitative behaviors and foreign R&D Site Location in China (模仿行为与跨国公司在华研发机构的区位选择).”  Science in Science (科学学), 24(4): 545-551.

23.        Zhou, Yu and Yifei Sun, Guest Editors, 2006. “Introduction: Mediating the State and Market in China's Competitive High Technology Industry.” China Review 6 (1): 1-7.

24.        Sun, Yifei, Debin Du and Li Huang. 2006. “Foreign R&D in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence from Shanghai, China.” China Review 6(1): 67-91.

25.        Wen, Ke, Yifei Sun and Zefu Lin. 2006. “The Barriers for the Localization of Multinational R&D in China and Implications for Policy Making (in Chinese) (跨国公司在华R&D本土化进程中的问题及启示 ).” China Soft Science (中国软科学) 2006(2):133-139.

26.        Sun, Yifei and Hongyang Wang. 2005 “Does Innovation Matter for Export in China’s Rural Enterprises? Empirical Evidences from Jiangsu.” Asian Geographer, 24 (-2): 1-15.

27.        Sun, Yifei. 2005. “Where Economic Status Changes: An Application of Slope in the Urban Environment.” Geographical Information Sciences 11(2): 122-129.

28.        Sun, Yifei and Hong Yang Wang. 2005. “Does Internet Access Matter for Rural Industry? A Case Study of Jiangsu, China,” Journal of Rural Studies 21 (2): 247-258.

29.        Sun, Yifei. 2003. “Strategic or tactical? Foreign research and development in developing countries, a case study of China.” Asian Geographer 22 (1&2):143-167.

30.        Sun, Yifei. 2003. “Geographic Patterns of Industrial Innovation in China.” Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 94(3):376-389.

31.   Sun, Yifei. 2003. “Foreign Patents in China.” World Patent Information 25(1): 27-37.

32.        Edward L. Jackiewicz and Yifei Sun. 2003. “The Ties that Bind, or Not? The Assimilation of Brazilian Migrants in South Florida.” The North American Geographer 5(1-2): 114-128.

33.        Sun, Yifei. 2002. “Determining the Size of Spatial Clusters in Focused Tests: Comparing Two Methods by Means of Simulation in a GIS.” Journal of Geographical Systems 4(4):359-370.

34.        Sun, Yifei. 2002. “China’s National Innovation System in Transition.” Eurasia Geography and Economics 43(6):476-492.


35.        Sun, Yifei. 2002. “Sources of Innovation in China’s Manufacturing Sector: Imported or Developed In-house?” Environment and Planning A 34(6): 1059-1072.

36.        Sun, Yifei. 2002. “Property Rights and Issues in Urban Planning in the United States (房地产权和美国城市规划中的几个问题).” Urban Planning Overseas (国外城市规划) 2002 (1): 38-40.

37.        Sun, Yifei. 2001 “Monitoring Spatial Patterns around Fixed Points: Comparing Two Distance-based Approaches.” Journal of Geographic Information Sciences 7: 42-52.

38.        Peter A. Rogerson and Yifei Sun. 2001. “Spatial Monitoring of Geographic Patterns: An Application to Crime Analysis.” Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 25: 538-556.

39.        Sun, Yifei. 2000. “Spatial Distribution of Patents in China.” Regional Studies 34(5): 441-454.

40.        Sun, Yifei and Lawrence Ma. 1997. “Edge City: The New Trend of Urban Development.(边缘城市:美国城市发展的新趋势)Foreign Country Urban Planning (国外城市规划) No.4: 28-35.

41.        Sun, Yifei.1996. “On the Evolution of the Ideas about Planning and Man-land Relationships(人地关系观、规划观的历史轨迹初探兼论城市规划观的未来趋向).” Human Geography (人文地理) 11(2): 24-27.

42.        Sun, Yifei.1995. “Delimitation of Urban Agglomerations: A Case Study of Jiangsu Province (城市密集区的界定).” Economic Geography (经济地理) 15(3): 36-40.

43.        Sun, Yifei.1994. “Evolution of the Spatial Structure of CBD (CBD 空间结构演化规律探讨).” Urban Studies (城市研究) No.1: 32-34.

44.        Du, Guoqing and Yifei Sun. 1994. “Quantitative Analysis of Leading Industries and Their Spatial Impacts in Nanjing.南京市工业主导行业的定量研究及其空间效应分析Economic Geography (经济地理) 13(3): 62-66.


Book Chapters


1.            Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun. 2016. Introduction: China’s Transformation into Innovation-Nation. In China as an Innovation Nation, edited by Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun. Oxford University Press, pp. 1-32.

2.            Sun, Yifei, Zi Xue and Debin Du. 2016. State, Multinational Corporations, Returnees, and Development of China’s Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Industry. In China as an Innovation Nation, edited by Yu Zhou, William Lazonick, and Yifei Sun. Oxford University Press, pp. 240-260.


     Book Reviews


2.       Sun, Yifei. 2009. Book Review. Handbook of Research on Asian Business. (Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), Economic Geography 85 (3):339-341.


3.  Sun, Yifei. 2005. Book Review. Chinas Telecommunications Market: Entering a New Competitive Age. China Information 19 (1): 145-147.


4.      Sun, Yifei. 2004. Book Review. Chinese Capitalism in a Globalized Era: Towards Hybrid Capitalism. China Information 18(2): 358-360.


5.      Sun, Yifei. 2002. Book Review. The Chinese City in Space and Time: The Development of Urban Form in Suzhou. Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 64: 163-166.


6.      Sun, Yifei.2001. Book Review. The Engines of Tomorrow. China Science Times (科学时报), December 4, 2001.