chapter  4
20 Pages

Compradors’ commercial activities

WithAbe Kaori

This chapter introduces four essential characteristics of the Hong Kong compradors' enterprises: modern entrepreneurship, international commercial activities, diversification of business and the formation of informal commercial ties. These four attributions were part and parcel of the commercial activities of the Hong Kong compradors from the 1880s onwards. The majority of prominent compradors were keen to carry out Sino-foreign joint ventures, based on their ties with foreign principals. The compradors' management of steam-shipping and sugar refining companies serves as a good example of their approach to entre preneurships from the 1860s to the 1880s. The compradors were integrated with each other through their economic activities and marriages. There were Chinese businessmen who became compradors as well as compradors who turned into entrepreneurs in Hong Kong during the late nineteenth century. Hong Kong commercial activities accelerated the development of Sino-foreign enterprises, including the steam-shipping, sugar refining and publishing businesses.