As a prominent core for studies on the interaction between nations and overseas non-state actors, as well as relations between nations and the wider world, transnational history has so far reinvented old conventions. For one, “space” has been re-conceptualized as transcending national borders. Intercepting the idea with Chinese history, the development of the Zhongshan business community from the late 19th century onwards shall shed light on the network branches that originated in a small Chinese county and gradually spread to Sydney, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Remarkably within a few decades, Ma Yingbiao, the Kwok brothers, etc. accrued a transnational network that comprised of department stores, banks, hotels, plantations and various other firms; most notably, the Wing On Department Store emerged as a multi-million dollar enterprise, witnessing the creation of branches in Shanghai and Hong Kong during the early 20th century. Furthermore, it is worth noting the role of the Zhongshan business community in facilitating the cultural interflow between China and Australia as Australian concepts in marketing, operation and human resource (Anthony Hordern & Sons Ltd. in particular) were subsequently incorporated and employed to propel commercial success and transnational glory.
|Keywords:||Transnational History, Chinese Business Network, Zhongshan Business Community|
Professor, Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (S.A.R.), Hong Kong
Lecturer, Department of History, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (S.A.R), Hong Kong