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Original titleRussian Businesses in Shanghai (1936)
Document ID555
TransliterationRussian Businesses in Shanghai (1936)
CollectionVirtual Shanghai
Digitized fileYes
Map typeeAtlas
Author(s)Christian Henriot
Cartographer(s)Isabelle Durand
Map supportDigital
CommentsThis map is based on a listing of Russian businesses in a Shanghai in a fascinating and rare book [Jiganoff, V. D., Russians in Shanghai (1936)] published in 1936 with the explicit purpose to promote and praise the Russian presence in the city. It was the product of an individual undertaking. Although it claims to be fairly exhaustive, we just do not know how the author worked and how he selected the businesses included in his book. Yet there is little doubt that this represents a solid sample (see also the collection of photographs published in the same volume). This unique volume is part of the Rena Krasno collection at the Hoover Archives. Altogether 57 businesses are represented in this sample. Quite clearly, they are heavily concentrated in the French Concession, where the vast majority of Russian elected to live after they came to Shanghai. Russian émigrés came in two separate waves, in the early 1920s after the Bolshevik revolution toppled the Romanov in 1917 and in the early 1930s after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and North China. One of the favorite locations for Russian businesses was the Avenue Joffre, the main commercial artery in the French Concession. The date of establishment of these businesses reflects the temporality of Russian migration to Shanghai. Only one store was founded in 1907: 1920-21: 3 1923-24: 5 1925-26: 9 1927-28: 12 1929-30: 12 1931-33: 7 In terms of activities, Russians invested mostly into services, especially health and body care, as well as in textile stores (mostly men and women apparel): Textile store: 13 Body accessories: 9 Pharmacy: 7 Body care: 6 Cultural products: 4 Food shops: 4 Beverage production: 2 Car repair: 2 Instruments & meters: 2 Restaurant: 2 Bank: 1 Funeral store: 1 Laboratory: 1 Sports: 1 Body care comprised beauty and hair salons. Body accessories were divided between shoes and jewelry. Apart from "instruments" and "beverages", Russian did not invest into industrial production. For the most part, these were small-scale individual and family enterprises. Further readings: Ristaino, Marcia R., Port of Last Resort: the Diaspora Communities of Shanghai (2002)
Place of publicationLyon

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