Transport advantage, assembly hub under global value chains, technology advantage, and home-market effect are the four main factors contributing to the emergence of trade hubs in East Asia. Using a region-specific trade “hub-ness” measure, we examine the evolution of trade hubs in the East Asia. A China-Japan twin-hub pattern was found in the 1990s, but the twin hub began to divide in the beginning of the 21st century because of a rising China and declining Japan. We also show that ASEAN as an integrated region may lead to the emergence of another trade hub in East Asia, because of the enlarged ASEAN home-market-size effect, for the highly fragmented automatic data processing industry.

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