A Canton Merchant Between East and West in the Early 19th Century
Social network are nowadays inherent parts of our lives and highly developed communication technique helps us maintain our relationships. But how did it work in the early 19th century, in a time without cell phones and internet? A Chinese Hong Merchant in Canton Trade named Houqua (1769-1843), who lived in isolated Qing China, gives us an outstanding answer. Despite various barriers in cultures, languages, political situations and his identity as a Chinese merchant strictly under control of the Qing government, Houqua established a commercial network across three continents: Asia, North America and Europe. This book will not only uncover his secrets and actions in his Chinese social network especially patronage relationships in traditional Chinese society, but also reconstruct his intercultural network, including his unique and even "modern" friendship with some American traders which lasted almost half a century after Houqua´s death.