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Jardine Matheson

Jardine Matheson, often called "Jardines", is a multinational corporation that is legally based in Bermuda and which trades on the London and Singapore stock exchanges.

Currently Jardines consists of the following companies: Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors Group, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Jardine Strategic, Dairy Farm, Hong Kong Land, Mandarin Oriental, and Cycle & Carriage.


Jardine Matheson was formed in China in 1832 by William Jardine and James Matheson, both British citizens from Scotland. The company played a central role in the founding and development of Hong Kong and was among the first European companies to establish itself in Shanghai, as well as the first foreign company to establish itself in Japan.

In Japan, the company's Japanese name (ジャーディン・マセソン) is the transliteration of its English name. Due to its long history in Hong Kong, the company's Chinese corporate identity (怡和集團 pinyin yi2 he2 ji2 tuan2) uses a totally unrelated name. On the other hand, the transliteration of Jardine (渣甸 with no particular meaning) can be found as place name everywhere in Hong Kong.

For years, Jardine has fired a cannon shot at every noon in Causeway Bay, by Victoria Harbor, slightly eastward of the former Kellett Island. The gunshots have served as time signals for many generations of old Hong Kongers. This tradition still continues today.

In 1876 the company built the first railroad in China.

Jardine Matheson became publicly traded in 1961.

In the early 20th century Jardine's principal offices were in Shanghai. After the Communist takeover in China, these were moved to Hong Kong. In the 1980s Jardines redomiciled to Bermuda in anticipation of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. Despite this move Jardines remains largely an Asian company.


Jardines was the thinly-disguised inspiration for a series of novels written by James Clavell, including Tai-Pan, Gai-Jin, and Noble House.

See also: List of British companies

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