The Establishment and Development of the Chinese-Owned Insurance Sector

Feng Bangyan and Nyaw Mee Kau

in Enriching Lives

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028702
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206946 | DOI:
The Establishment and Development of the Chinese-Owned Insurance Sector

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Toward the end of the Qing Dynasty, foreign insurers in China began to open up to investments from local merchants. However, Chinese investors were entitled only to profits and not voting rights or any voice in management. In other words, these insurance companies were lopsided joint ventures at best and far from equal partnerships. The first foreign insurer that solicited Chinese investments was Union Insurance, which, when Dent & Co. founded it in 1830, had a significant capital injection from some Guangzhou business investors. In 1868, Jardine Matheson established the Hong Kong Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. Based on existing records, the first Chinese-controlled insurance firm was founded by a Shanghai trading firm with close ties to Jardine Matheson. Although that firm covered the cargo shipments of Chinese firms and little else, it served to stir up some competition for the foreign insurers.

Keywords: Qing Dynasty; foreign insurers; China; local merchants; Union Insurance; Guangzhou; Jardine Matheson; Hong Kong Fire Insurance; Shanghai trading firm; cargo shipments

Chapter.  2701 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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