Chapter 7: Capital mobilization, human capital development and shareholding
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Chapter 7 explores how capital was mobilized by different merchant networks and investigates shareholding procedures in Shanxi's remittance houses (piaohao). The three Fujian, Anhui and Shanxi merchant networks implemented specific forms of capital mobilisation and human capital development and, in the case of Shanxi bankers, practised elaborate forms of shareholding. The capital came from partnerships formed within the family circle. However, does a clan-based partnership constitute a legal entity? Partnerships set up to build a ship or to trade with overseas countries are attested at least since the Song Dynasty. This formula was used until the end of the Qing dynasty, but it never evolved into more permanent and legally sophisticated forms. In particular, the issue of evaluating the various stakeholders' performances in a company never arose in China with the same acuteness as it did early on in Europe, where it took the form of the audit.

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