This article is critical of the culturalist perspective as an explanation for the development of Chinese entrepreneurship. Drawing on Eu Tong Sen's business strategies and career between 1897 and 1920 as case study, it identifies the endogenous and exogenous conditions affecting Chinese business activities in colonial Malaya. Alfred Chandler's work on the rise of the modern business enterprise is argued to be particularly relevant for an economic history of Chinese business in Southeast Asia.
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