Family business development in mainland China from 1872 to 1949

This study reviews family business in mainland China from 1872 to 1949 and provides evidence of its early development and its origins in 1872 when the first modern manufacturing firm was founded. We analyse the social, economic, and political environment in which family firms in mainland China were embedded to improve our understanding of how this unique organisational form was established and developed. Our analyses cover the late Qing Dynasty and the period from 1912 to 1949 during which the Republic of China (ROC) ruled mainland China. Implications for current family business theory and practice are discussed.