Chinese business and banking in South-East Asia since 1870
Introduction Historically, multinational banking has not been confined to western or quasi-western institutions. This chapter examines the multinational banking activities of the overseas Chinese in SouthEast Asia since the late nineteenth century.2 In the nineteenth century, Chinese business groups undertook banking across national borders through branch networks as well as interlocking partnerships and other modes. In the twentieth century, the overseas Chinese have promoted modem banks which again have been very active in multinational activity. A distinguishing feature of this Chinese enterprise has been that, throughout the period under discussion, multinational banking has rarely been isolated from other multinational activities. Like the Paris Rothschilds of the late nineteenth century, Chinese business groups have tended to combine financial, commercial and industrial activity in diversified groups.