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China and CapitalismA History of Business Enterprise in Modern China$
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David Faure

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789622097834

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622097834.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
China and Capitalism

David Faure

Hong Kong University Press

This book outlines the history of Chinese business and argues that business practices in China have been shaped by broader trends in the evolution of the Chinese state and society since 1500. It discusses three changes that provided the backbone of long-lasting development in the late imperial state of the Ming (1368–1644) and the Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. Firstly, the Chinese economy was increasingly monetarized from the sixteenth century onwards as silver was imported into China in large quantities from abroad in return for Chinese exports. Secondly, the recruitment of a bureaucracy by examination was consistently applied from the early Ming into the last years of the Qing dynasty, and it created a class of administrators who prided themselves on their scholarship. Thirdly, the scholar-official class from the 1500s saw their political interests vested in the maintenance of ritual order which assigned all members of the state, including the emperor, rights and responsibilities.

Keywords:   Chinese business, business practices, Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty, Chinese economy, sixteenth century

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