Tradition and Transformation in a Chinese Family Business: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Tradition and Transformation in a Chinese Family Business

1st Edition

By Heung-Wah Wong, Karin Ling-fung Chau


248 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138914841
pub: 2019-12-05
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315690612
pub: 2019-12-05
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Family businesses have been an important part of the economy in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and in the Chinese diaspora, and, since the reforms, in mainland China itself. Some people have argued that the success of Chinese family businesses occurs because of the special characteristics and approach of such businesses. This book examines the nature of Chinese family business and the key issues involved by exploring in detail the case of a leading Hong Kong jewellery company which was established in the early 1960s and which has grown to become one of the biggest jewellery manufacturers, exporters, and retailers in post-war Hong Kong. The book considers the motivations of Chinese people to set up their own businesses, outlining the strategies adopted, including the strategies for raising capital, and the qualities of successful Chinese entrepreneurs. It discusses the management of the company, including relations between family members, profit sharing and succession planning, and assesses how conflict and crises are coped with and overcome. It charts the evolution of the company, looking at how it has been transformed into a listed corporation. The book concludes by arguing for the importance of studying Chinese family businesses culturally.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables



Part I

1 Introduction

2 Politics, economy, and society of post-war Hong Kong

3 A life history of Fong

4 To produce or to die: the development of Fong’s manufacturing business

5 Beyond manufacturing: the development of Fong’s showroom business

6 From a manufacturer to a brand: the development of Fong’s retail business

Part II

7 Jan cing mei management

8 The crises

9 The transformers and the transformation

10 The eternal return of the Chinese boss

11 Conclusion




About the Authors

Heung Wah Wong is Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong.

Karin Ling-Fung Chau is a MPhil/PhD student in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London.

About the Series

Routledge Culture, Society, Business in East Asia Series

Editorial Board:

Heung Wah  Wong (Executive Editor), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Chris Hutton, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Wayne Cristaudo, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Harumi Befu (Emeritus Professor), Stanford University, USA
Shao-dang Yan, Peking University, China
Andrew Stewart MacNaughton, Reitaku University, Japan
William Kelly, Independent Researcher
Keiji Maegawa, Tsukuba University, Japan
Kiyomitsu Yui, Kobe University, Japan

How and what are we to examine if we wish to understand the commonalities across East Asia without falling into the powerful fictions or homogeneities that dress its many constituencies? By the same measure, can East Asian homogeneities make sense in any way outside the biases of East-West personation?

For anthropologists familiar with the societies of East Asia, there is a rich diversity of work that can potentially be applied to address these questions within a comparative tradition grounded in the region as opposed the singularizing outward encounter. This requires us to broaden our scope of investigation to include all aspects of intra-regional life, trade, ideology, culture, and governance, while at the same time dedicating ourselves to a complete and holistic understanding of the exchange of identities that describe each community under investigation. An original and wide ranging analysis will be the result, one that draws on the methods and theory of anthropology as it deepens our understanding of the interconnections, dependencies, and discordances within and among East Asia.

The book series includes three broad strands within and between which to critically examine the various insides and outsides of the region. The first is about the globalization of Japanese popular culture in East Asia, especially in greater China. The second strand presents comparative studies of major social institutions in Japan and China, such as family, community and other major concepts in Japanese and Chinese societies. The final strand puts forward cross-cultural studies of business in East Asia.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies