From Ancestral Tong to joint-stock company: The transformation of the Yip Kwong Tai Tong in South China, 1830s-1960s

Po Yin CHUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Kwong Tai Company (1917-1960) holds a unique position in modern Chinese history as the first joint-stock company registered in British Hong Kong that originated as an ancestral tong in South China. Its history reflects how a traditional ancestral tong adjusted its operations in a unique historical setting and coped with a new identity. This case provides a missing chapter in the story of how traditional Chinese corporate institutions came to terms with Western ideas of the company and company law. By looking into the institutional and cultural transformations of the Yip Kwong Tai Tong, this article reveals how traditional Chinese institutions responded to political and economic changes in Republican China, when the state in China evolved into a different form, and the ritual-based society was in decline, especially when the world economic system entered coastal China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-105
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Asian Studies
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • ancestral Tong
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Chinese lineage
  • company codes
  • Joint Stock Company
  • legal authority
  • ritual authority
  • South China

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