Growing Pains, Partnerships, and the Co-hong

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:
Growing Pains, Partnerships, and the Co-hong

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The establishment of the Co-hong, in 1760 has been traditionally seen by historians as a monopolistic organization that forced itself on the trade, with the objective of hindering and restricting competition and commerce. This perception runs contrary to everything we know about how the trade operated. The Co-hong's performance clearly shows that such ideas were not founded on sound evidence. Trade was not hindered, as is so often expressed in the history books, but rather grew year after year throughout the Co-hong's existence. The Co-hong was the answer to increasing inland production so that the trade could continue to expand. Partnerships were essential to make growth happen, and the Co-hong was needed to ensure that no single merchant group would gain control over any part of the market.

Keywords: commerce; China; trade; monopoly; merchants; partnerships

Chapter.  9631 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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