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After the clipper-ship era, Americans operated steamships serving local trade in Chinese waters. Reconstructing these ventures in the treaty ports, Kwang-Ching Liu uses papers of American and British firms to provide an inside view of their competitive financial and business methods and their contact with the Chinese merchant community. The author analyzes the firms’ strategies and their results. He also draws on the Imperial Maritime Customs records to illuminate the nature of the Chinese interport trade. The result is a major study of Western enterprise in nineteenth-century China. The book includes many little-known photographs.