china edition


Pingyao - Rishengchang Financial House Museum

Shanxi - Datong - Pingyao - Taiyuan

This museum is not to be missed. In the late 18th century a man named Li Daquan opened a small dye shop here. His business prospered and he opened branches as far away as Sichuan. As sales grew Li introduced a system of cheques and deposits, and the home office in Pingyao essentially became a financial agent for the company, and eventually, for other businesses, individuals and the Qing government.

The bank prospered for over 100 years, and at its height had 57 branches around China. The Japanese invasion and civil strife in the 1930s, along with increased competition from foreign banks, forced its decline and eventual closure. The museum has over 100 rooms, including offices, living quarters and a kitchen, as well as several old cheques.

Today, in this museum, you can both find historical records of Chinese banking as well as interesting anecdotes about some of the ancient financial magnates.