CHINA BOUND: JOHN SWIRE & SONS AND ITS WORLD, 1816 - 1980

CHINA BOUND: JOHN SWIRE & SONS AND ITS WORLD, 1816 - 1980

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An unrivaled and comprehensive look at the 200-year story of Swire, a highly diversified, global group of companies including Cathay Pacific, with a rich and colorful history.

The Swire Group, started by John Swire in 1816, had its beginnings as a modest Liverpool import-export company, focused mainly on the textile trade. John Swire's sons, John Samuel (1825-1898) and William Hudson (1830-1884), took the firm overseas and it was John Samuel Swire in particular whose entrepreneurial instincts would be at the root of the firm's successes in years to come.

In 1861, John Swire & Sons Limited began to trade with China. In 1866, in partnership with R.S. Butterfield, the firm of Butterfield & Swire was established in Shanghai. Four years later, a branch of Butterfield & Swire was opened in Hong Kong.

In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Butterfield & Swire closed all of its China offices. In 1974, Butterfield & Swire in Hong Kong was renamed John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd. Today, Swire is a highly diversified group of companies--covering shipping, airlines (including Cathay Pacific), luxury hotels and agribusiness--and continues to operate out of Hong Kong, with a formal group HQ in London.

This new book provides a detailed and intimate history of the company, researched and written by Robert Bickers, a Professor of History at the University of Bristol.