- The Hongs
The Hongs (Chinese: 行) were major business houses in
Hong Kongwith significant influence on patterns of consumerism, trades, manufacturingand other key areas of the economy.
Prior to the establishment of Hong Kong, the name "Hong" was given to major business houses under the Chinese word 行. The
Thirteen Factoriesare the original merchants in China under the Qing government.
Historically, the factories faded before they had any direct effect on Hong Kong's economic birth. Hong Kong generally begin counting the Hongs from the first generation of western or foreign companies, since they provided direct financial backings during the
Colonial Hong Kongera. Jardine Mathesonhad a Shanghaiheadquarters on the Bund, just south of the British Consulate. The headquarter was called "the Ewo Hong", or "Ewo House", after the Cantonese pronunciation of the company's Chinese name (怡和, yi wo). [Tales of Old Shanghai. " [http://www.earnshaw.com/shanghai-ed-india/tales/t-hongs.htm Earnshaw.com] ." "The Hongs." Retrieved on 2007-03-29.] However, this is likely not the original source of the name, since the British have documented the term "Hong" during the times of the Thirteen Factories.
The term is most often used in reference to
Colonial Hong Kongcompanies directly. In modern day sense, the term is loosely used to describe influential companies.
Prior to any banking institutions, besides small foreign bank branches, the three firms that financed most of Hong Kong's economic activities were the Jardine's, Dent's and the Russell's.Sunzi1. " [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/hkjo/view/44/4401691.pdf Sunzi1] ." "Hong Kong Hongs with Long Histories and British Connections." Retrieved on
2007-03-29.] Hence, most sources credit them as the original three.
The Hongs began during
China's Qing dynasty, and grew in influence and power as Hong Kongseparated from Imperial Chinain the early 19th Century. The original entities were mostly founded by westerners, namely British settlers within the Colonial Hong Kongcommunity. The head of companies were referred to as tai-pans.
Most firms became true multinational corporations, and management consisted mostly of European expatriates.Genzberger, Christine A.  (1994) Hong Kong Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business with Hong Kong. ISBN 0963186477]
1997many of the hongs had diversified their holdings and shifted their headquarters offshore away from Hong Kong to avoid any potential communist party takeovers.
Conglomerates of colonial Hong Kong
Note: "Below are lists of companies that had a predominant effect on Hong Kong's economy at a particular era. Notability are up for debate. Official names of the era are used."
* Jardine Matheson
Dent & Co.
* Russell & Co - US company founded by William Russell for the Opium trade; merged with Perkins of Boston in 1830
* Gilman and Bowman - established by Richard James Gilman as a tea trader in 1840; taken over by Duncan Patterson of Australia 1917 and became a privately held company; now part of Inchcape Group (1958)
* Hong Kong and China Gas Company
* Russell & Co.
* Dairy Farm Ice and Cold Storage Company Limited - Dr Patrick Manson
Conglomerates of modern Hong Kong
* The Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company
* The Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company
Swire Group- John Henry Bremridge
* Hutchison -
* Wheelock Marden - John L Marden;
The old British hongs continue to operate in
Hong Kongafter 1997, but a few are now held by local Hong Kong Chinesebusinessmen.
Jardine Matheson HoldingsHQ in Hong Kongand incorporated in Bermuda
Dairy Farm International Holdings
Hutchison Whampoa- Li Ka-shing
* Wheelock Marden
Swire Group- HQ in both Hong Kongand London, England
The Wharf (Holdings)
Henderson Land Development- Lee Shau Kee
The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited
Since the 1980s, a number of local Chinese and mainland Chinese firms have challenged the control of the Hong Kong economy previously held by the British hongs:
CITIC Pacific- Larry Yung Chi Kin
PCCW- Richard Li
New World Development(1970) - Cheng Yu-tung
China Resources(1938 as Liow & Company)
Li & Fung(1906)
COSCO- owned by the government of the People's Republic of China
Sun Hung Kai(1969)
Cheung Kong Holdings(1950s) - Li Ka-shing
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Hang Seng Index
* [http://www.chineseexportsilver.com Chinese Export Silver / China Trade Silver]
* [http://www.chineseexportsilver.com/MakersMarks.html China Trade Silver Makers and Marks]
* [http://www.providenceri.com/NarragansettBay/china_trade.html Old China Trade]
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