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Modern Chinese Banking Networks during the Republican Era


  • Lingyu Kong

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Florian Ploeckl

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)


Domestic western-style banks emerged as China’s leading financial sector during the Republican era, an environment characterized by economic and political uncertainty and weak property rights. We document that these modern banks nevertheless flourished, especially during the Nanjing decade in the 1930s, with strong social and commercial relationships throughout the sector. Focusing on interlocking directorates we trace the shape, structure and development of the network of cooperation between these banks. This network shows a dominating central cluster, indicating that the sector was characterized by internal cooperation rather than competition. Similarly, new entrants were strongly linked to existing banks, indicating that entry was driven by the expansion of existing banks rather than the rise of new competition. Finally, central locations of public banks within the cluster indicate that the government gained influence over the sector through direct bank ownership. This paper shows that the domestic financial sector reacted successfully to the threats of the external environment by weaving a close web of interdependence, including with the government.

Suggested Citation

  • Lingyu Kong & Florian Ploeckl, 2018. "Modern Chinese Banking Networks during the Republican Era," School of Economics Working Papers 2018-16, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2018-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Simon C. Holmes & Florian Ploeckl, 2015. "Bank on steel? Joint-stock banks and the rationalization of the British interwar steel industry," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 88-107.
    7. El-Khatib, Rwan & Fogel, Kathy & Jandik, Tomas, 2015. "CEO network centrality and merger performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 349-382.
    8. Fernando Anjos & Cesare Fracassi, 2015. "Shopping for Information? Diversification and the Network of Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(1), pages 161-183, January.
    9. Rinaldi, Alberto & Vasta, Michelanelo, 2005. "The Structure of Italian Capitalism, 1952 1972: New Evidence Using the Interlocking Directorates Technique," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 173-198, October.
    10. repec:eee:jbfina:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:51-70 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Domestic western-style banks; Chinese banking networks; chinas leading financial sector; economic and political uncertainty; republican era;

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