Politics can be a profitable business investment. This can be found in Republican era Canton amidst a politically fragmented China. Competing merchant groups in Hong Kong sought to finance the regional government in Canton in return for financial concessions. Colonial Hong Kong made these attempts possible because it offered the merchants a haven to which they could retreat. Merchants in modern China, different from their western counterparts, remained dependent on the political authorities. This patronage system made commercial endeavours dependent on politics and, significantly, it embedded business in politics - a phenomenon that still exists in China today.
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