Surviving economic crises in Southeast Asia and Southern China: The history of Eu Yan Sang business conglomerates in Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong

Po Yin CHUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, I will look into the survival strategies of the Eu Yan Sang (EYS) firm, a transnational company active in Southern China and Southeast Asia over the past 120 years. Special attention will be given to the political and economic changes in the market in which the firm operated from 1876 to 1941. The Eus had demonstrated the skill of what modern management experts call 'lateral and vertical diversification' and 'conglomerate integration' in its investments. This diversification and integration, as will be seen, helped the Eus to restore liquidity without disrupting their other operations in time of need. But we must note that the practice of business diversification was not unprecedented, nor uncommon in Chinese history. What makes EYS noteworthy is not their reliance on networking and diversification, but the unique historical environment in Southeast Asia and Southern China in which the Eus' networking and diversification were carried out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-617
Number of pages39
JournalModern Asian Studies
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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