Development of Hong Kong (1870 - 1899)


  • In 1871 the Firm withdrew from the 'Country Trade' with India in the face of changing markets to concentrate on its other interests.
  • JM & Co opened Woosung Railroad at Shanghai in 1876.
  • The Firm established the first ice-making factory in Hong Kong in 1879, later to be amalgamated with Dairy Farm.


  • In mainland China, the Group's growing interests now included wharves, warehouses, cotton mills, mining and engineering.
  • The Indo-China Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1881 as an amalgamation of the Group's river, coastal and cargo interests.
  • JM & Co pioneered the first sugar mill in Hong Kong, helped establish Hong Kong Tramways in 1884 and Hong Kong Wharf and Godown Company in 1886.
  • The Dairy Farm company was established by Sir Patrick Manson and five prominent Hong Kong businessmen with 80 head of cattle in 1886.
  • Sir Paul Chater, in partnership with JM & Co, formed Hongkong Land in 1889.


  • In 1897 JM & Co opened the first spinning and weaving factory in Hong Kong, laying the foundation for a successful industry for the Territory.
  • The 99-year lease of The New Territories was granted in 1898.
  • In 1898 Jardines helped establish The Star Ferry Company.
  • 1898 also saw the formation by JM & Co and HSBC of the British and China Corporation ('BCC'), which was responsible for much of the development of China's railway system.
  • In 1899, the Chua brothers founded Cycle & Carriage in Kuala Lumpur, and subsequently moved to Singapore in 1926.