Department of History
From ancestral Tong to joint-stock company: The transformation of the Yip Kwong Tai Tong in South China, 1830s-1960s
The Kwong Tai Company (1917-1960) holds a unique position in modern Chinese history as the first joint-stock company registered in British Hong Kong that originated as an ancestral tong in South China. Its history reflects how a traditional ancestral tong adjusted its operations in a unique historical setting and coped with a new identity. This case provides a missing chapter in the story of how traditional Chinese corporate institutions came to terms with Western ideas of the company and company law. By looking into the institutional and cultural transformations of the Yip Kwong Tai Tong, this article reveals how traditional Chinese institutions responded to political and economic changes in Republican China, when the state in China evolved into a different form, and the ritual-based society was in decline, especially when the world economic system entered coastal China.
ancestral Tong, Chamber of Commerce, Chinese lineage, company codes, Joint Stock Company, legal authority, ritual authority, South China
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Asian Studies
Cambridge University Press
Link to Publisher's Edition
Chung, Stephanie Po-Yin. "From ancestral Tong to joint-stock company: The transformation of the Yip Kwong Tai Tong in South China, 1830s-1960s." International Journal of Asian Studies 12.1 (2015): 79-105.