Compagnie de Chine
The Compagnie de Chine was a French trading company established in 1660 by the Catholic society Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, in order to dispatch missionaries to Asia (initially Bishops François Pallu, Pierre Lambert de la Motte and Ignace Cotolendi of the newly founded Paris Foreign Missions Society). The company was modelled on the Dutch East India Company.
A ship was built in the Netherlands by the shipowner Fermanel, but the ship foundered soon after being launched. The only remaining solution for the missionaries was to travel on land, since Portugal would have refused to take non-Padroado missionaries by ship, and the Dutch and the English refused to take Catholic missionaries.
A second Compagnie de Chine was established in 1698.
The Compagnie de Chine was reactivated in 1723.