China Merchants Group

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China Merchants Group
State-owned enterprise
HeadquartersHong Kong
Revenue303,784,000,000 renminbi[1] (2018) Edit this on Wikidata
14,521,100,000,000[2] (2018) Edit this on Wikidata
OwnerPeople's Republic of China (under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council) Edit this on Wikidata

China Merchants Group (招商局集团, Zhaoshangju Jituan) is a state-owned corporation of People's Republic of China. It is the major shareholder of China Merchants Holdings (International) (55.4%) as well as China Merchants Bank (18%). The company's headquarters are located on the top floor of China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, Hong Kong.[3]


China Merchants Steam Navigation Company was a transportation company founded on December 16, 1872, by then Minister of Beiyang Li Hongzhang as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement during the late Qing dynasty. Its purpose was to capture part of the international trade, which had been virtually monopolized by foreign companies based in Treaty ports. Eighty percent of the start-up capital was provided by native Chinese, making this the first transportation company using modern technology not based on foreign ownership. It obtained government support when it received a monopoly contract to carry the tribute grain from the Yangzi Valley to the capital, as well as loans from government sources and monopoly rights that precluded the founding of rival Chinese steamship companies.[4] It remained one of the four most prominent shipping companies in China between the 1880s and World War II. However it grew more slowly than foreign firms because a government official Sheng Xuanhuai (1844–1916) became its director-general in 1885. He allowed corruption and payoffs, and diverted funds to other enterprises.[5]

In 1938, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the company sold four of its ships Haiyuan, Haili, Haichen and Haiheng to the Hong Kong-based trading company Jardine Matheson & Co.[6]

The company split due to the Chinese Civil War. In 1949, the company's head office was transferred together with the Republic of China government from the mainland to Taiwan. The Taipei-based CMSNC merged with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation on July 1, 1995. Meanwhile, the People's Republic of China retained ownership of some of the company's ships and of the Hong Kong subsidiary, and allowed the latter to retain its name (China Merchants Steam Navigation Company Limited) to avoid legal disputes.[7]

At the beginning of the Reform and Opening era, Yuan Geng became the Vice Chairman of CMG in October 1978 and used it to create the Shekou Industrial Zone. Yuan Geng later led the creation of China Merchants Bank in 1986.[8]


The company currently owns:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine." China Merchants Group. Retrieved on November 8, 2011. "Head Office Address: 40/F., China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Rd., C., Hong Kong" - Address in Chinese Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine: "香港 中环 干諾道168-200號信德中心招商局大廈39-40樓"
  4. ^ Kwang-ching Liu, "Steamship enterprise in nineteenth-century China." Journal of Asian Studies 18.4 (1959): 435-455.
  5. ^ Albert Feuerwerker, China’s Early Industrialization: Sheng Hsuan-huai (1844-1914) and Mandarin Enterprise (1958).
  6. ^ "Britons Buy Chinese Ships". Evening Telegraph. British Newspaper Archive. 6 August 1938. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  7. ^ "CMG History". China Merchants Group.
  8. ^ Xu Shuyuan (2016). Yuan Geng, Father of Shekou. China Pictorial.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lai, Chi-Kong. "China's First Modern Corporation and the State: Officials, Merchants, and Resource Allocation in the China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company, 1872–1902." Journal of Economic History 54.2 (1994): 432-434. online
  • Liu, Kwang-ching. "Steamship enterprise in nineteenth-century China." Journal of Asian Studies 18.4 (1959): 435-455.

External links[edit]