The New Compradors? Hong Kong's Taipans Face a New Era

B&S Shanghai Staff 1883

Even before they had seen its contents, Hong Kong's family-run firms - including two non-Chinese business empires that have shaped Hong Kong - were lining up to pledge support to the New National Security legislation. Even in 2020, Hong Kong remains an oligopoly with a handful of wealthy conglomerates controlling vast swathes of Hong Kong's economy. But these family-run firms no longer have the luxury of remaining silent about Chinese politics. To look at two of these commercial dynasties and their role in creating Hong Kong as Asia's global city, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Robert Bickers who has written China Bound: A History of John Swire & Sons and Its World, and Jonathan Kaufman, former Wall Street Journal correspondent who examines the Sassoons and the Kadoories in the Last Kings of Shanghai: the Rival Jewish Dynasties that Helped Create Modern China.

Photo credit: RobJ,

Updated:  6 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team