Chapter

Tan Suqua and Family 1716–1778

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/9789888028917.003.0006
Tan Suqua  and Family 1716–1778

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Tan Suqua and sons were at the centre of the commerce in Canton for more than 60 years (ca. 1716 to 1778). Suqua was considered by contemporaries (Chinese and foreigners alike) as one of the most trusted and respected merchants of his time, with high business standards and top quality merchandise. By 1730, the family had become enormously wealthy. But being the top man in the trade carried numerous risks as well. In the early 1730s, Suqua became a target of competitors who accused him of secretly trying to monopolize the trade and cheat foreign companies for his and his cohorts' personal benefit. Despite many ups and downs, Tan Suqua and family remained one of the prominent players in the trade for many decades. But the changing environment of the1770s brought the house to a gradual end.

Keywords: merchants; commerce; political reforms; monopoly; bankruptcy; China

Chapter.  13070 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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