Chapter

The Trading Environment

Paul A. Van Dyke

in Merchants of Canton and Macao

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9789888028917
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9789882208650 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028917.003.0002
The Trading Environment

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This chapter provides a summary of the environment in which the merchants of Canton and Macao operated. I summarizes the following: the day-to-day management of trade by four top Chinese officials; the three basic classifications of merchants; the transporting of goods from China's interior to Canton; credit, capital, interest rates and consignments and how each worked to advance trade; the security merchant system which made one Chinese merchant responsible for each ship and its crew; show how foreign companies were made responsible for employees; the role of bookkeeping in the control of trade; how commerce was taxed and financed so trade was not hindered but rather moved forward; and reasons why Chinese merchants were often eager to participate in the contraband trade despite its illegality.

Keywords: China; bookkeeping; taxation; finance; production; smuggling; shipping; management; trade; merchants

Chapter.  12166 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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