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Enriching LivesA History of Insurance in Hong Kong, 1841-2010$
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Bangyan Feng Mee Kau Nyaw and Mee Kau Nyaw

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028702

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028702.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Pioneer Insurers in the New Crown Colony:

Pioneer Insurers in the New Crown Colony:

Canton and Union

(p.4) (p.5) Chapter 1 Pioneer Insurers in the New Crown Colony:
Enriching Lives

Feng Bangyan

Nyaw Mee Kau

, Violet Law
Hong Kong University Press

In 1805, the British East India Company's director, W. S. Davidson, founded the Canton Insurance Society, the first English-owned insurer in China, with two English trading firms: Davidson-Dent House, the forerunner of Dent & Co., and Magniac & Company, which became Jardine, Matheson & Co. By 1835, Davidson-Dent bowed out of the partnership to form the Union Insurance Society of Canton on its own. In the era prior to the Opium Wars, Canton Insurance and Union Insurance were the only foreign insurers in China. Foreign insurers found it difficult to handle day-to-day operations and had to entrust management responsibilities to the foreign trading firms because of the distance and time involved in doing business in China then. In 1842, the Chinese and the British concluded the Opium Wars with the Treaty of Nanking, turning Hong Kong over to the Crown and opening five ports to free trade: Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai.

Keywords:   British East India Company, W. S. Davidson, Canton Insurance Society, Davidson-Dent House, Union Insurance, China, Opium Wars, Treaty of Nanking, Shanghai

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