By Kwan Man Bun (auth.)
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Additional info for Beyond Market and Hierarchy: Patriotic Capitalism and the Jiuda Salt Refinery, 1914–1953
The technology for refined salt was not demanding, but the company encountered obstacles that made its registration far from routine. 53 In crafting their petition to register Jiuda, Jing and his associates carefully avoided the issues of revenue farming and divisional boundaries. Instead, they appealed to patriotism, of restoring national health, both fiscal and hygienic. 54 Jiuda’s new refined salt would also provide an alternative to and set an example for traditional salt producers. For far too long, the health of China’s citizenry had been jeopardized by “eating dirt”—the crude salt produced by solar evaporation contained much sand and other impurities.
Their goal might be laudable, but the risks and uncertainties did not endear the company in the capital market, especially after Fan and his colleagues decided against guaranteed dividend (guanli) in Jiuda’s public offering. 7 To some business historians and economists, this is, of course, yet another example of what went wrong in modern China’s economy. Bypassing the market through such particularistic ties, if not corruption, it is a recipe for inefficiencies and limited growth, if not failure.
Political considerations determined the controversy in favor of the contention of the Yenwushu, thereby enabling the Transportation Officers to have full control. . 53 What the Revenue Inspectorate and the central government did have control over was the gabelle rate and the revenue farmers. Indeed, the magical appearance of revenue and its growth could be traced, in part, to changes in payment method and successive rises in the tax rate. Beginning with the late Qing reforms, the central government had sought accounting of some seven hundred categories of revenue derived from salt as part of the national budget.
Beyond Market and Hierarchy: Patriotic Capitalism and the Jiuda Salt Refinery, 1914–1953 by Kwan Man Bun (auth.)