Jin Merchant emerged in modern China and Jin does not refer to a person, but a place, Shanxi. It was a place with well developed commerce in Ming and Qing dynasties. There were ten business factions all over the country, and Jin Merchant in Shanxi was the most outstanding one and their businesses spanned 9,000 miles across Eurasia, as far as Moscow and the Northeast. At that time, the horse-drawn carriage was the major means of transportation. On their two legs and the carriage, they traveled all over Eurasia and communicated with the whole world. Where there were sparrows, there were merchants from Shanxi. For 500 years, Shanxi merchants, in the Ming and Qing dynasties, dominated the entire market. The Ming and Qing Dynasties occupied the leading commercial enterprises in China. According to the statistics of the Qing Dynasty, the top 16 large enterprise groups in China were all Jin Merchants without exception.
Jin Merchant had a thorough and complete system of training talents along with comprehensive systems of operation and management. According to statistics, the cash inventory of Jin Merchant was more than Qing State Treasury at that time! The achievements of Jin Merchant and the essence of their success could be summed up in a couplet. The first line is “Integrity-based, crisscross Eurasia 9000 miles” and the second line is “Morality-targeted, dominate Market 500 years”.
The three words integrity, morality and profit summarize its core essence. The top priority is to see if it is morally right, and if it is not, never do it regardless of how much money it could make. The second point is integrity, and when the conflict between interest and integrity happens, integrity is more important than interest. The last is to make profits, earn the money that should be earned. Jin Merchant already knew that never compromise their characters to make money. How many contemporary well-known enterprises have no morality when they see the interests?
Jin Merchants were also united all over the country with subordinate offices in different places. The concept of Miles Guo to establish Himalaya farms is from Jin Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce, the purpose of which is to cooperate and help each other. Let’s say someone was short of capital, they had a bank and could finance internally. They paid special attention to virtue and talent cultivation. When an apprentice learned how to operate a business from his employer, he would not open another business across the street to compete with his employer. Even if he chose to do the similar type of business, he would go far away to avoid any possible competition. Some people would even leave the industry when they resigned. At that time, all the employees were given the shares, including professional manager who was called shopkeeper, aiming at the separation of ownership and management. Had it not been for the communist party’s usurpation of state power, Jin Merchant would have developed beyond its limits.
Many German businesses have learned and applied the practice of Jin Merchant. In the next episode, we will focus on German SMEs.
Original opinion article by Himalaya Vancouver GFarm – 2020/12/21