Written by one of the most distinguished experts on China's economic and business history, China and Capitalism provides a highly original and at the same time clear and readable approach to understanding the development of business in China from 1500 to the 1990s. David Faure then uses the picture he has assembled to shed new light on the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese business today. The book is written to be accessible to people with little background in China or Chinese business practice. Dr Faure describes three phases in the development of Chinese business from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. In the traditional phase, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Chinese business relied on contracts as well as on ritual propriety. In the modernizing phase, from the second half of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, Chinese business had to adapt to the introduction of company law and legal standards of accounting. In the contemporary phase, from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day, China emerged from a control economy to a vibrant market by embracing once again the changes introduced in the modernizing phase. General readers, including students and teachers in courses touching on but not primarily devoted to the Chinese experience, will find in this book the most comprehensive account of China's business development in the last five centuries and many insights into the workings of China's modern business scene. Specialist readers will find a highly original approach to the history of business in China.