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The commercial culture enjoying good fame at all times and in all lands

It has been famous inside and outside China that the Hui nationality is proficient in business. Their commercial activities go back to ancient times, and had different characteristics in different times. As early as in the Tang and Song dynasties, the ancients of the Hui nationality---Muslim "aboriginal guests" were active on the famous "Silk Road" as the land route and the "Perfume Road" from the sea in south China, passing the Malay Peninsula, to the Persian Gulf as the sea route. The capital Chang'an, the Hexi Corridor region, and Guangzhou, Yangzhou, Quanzhou, Hangzhou and other cities in southeastern China were the main regions where they were engaged in business and inhabited. They opened "Hui restaurants" and "Persian shops" in these places, operated the business of perfume, pearls and jewels, ivory, rhinoceros horn and Chinese silk, medicinal materials, copper wares and ceramics, etc. Besides nongovernmental commercial and trade activities, at that time, they also operated a kind of barter between state governments, Chinese historical book called it as "presenting tribute to emperor". That was, the Arabian merchants transported their cargos to China with the mode of "presenting tributes to emperor", and "sold" them to Chinese imperial government, then transported the presents as return to Arab. By this mode, they could be exempted from the commercial tax on the road and gain higher profits. The commercial activities of the Huis ancients accelerated the communication of economy and culture between China and the west, strengthened the contact between the border area and interior, promoted the prosperity and boom of cites and towns on the road, and built a foundation for the commercial culture of the Hui nationality. 

In the Yuan dynasty, the commercial activities of the Huis people were expanded throughout China with their settlement in all places of the country. Perfume, pearls and jewels, gold and silver decorations, grains and pelts were the main commodities that they operated. 

During the Ming dynasty, the Hui nationality had finally formed on the land of China, their business and economy went on developing. However, because the feudal ruling classes carried out the policies of national isolation, the communication career between China and the west was blocked, the foreign trade of the merchants of the Hui nationality declined since then. But their trade between the interior and the border area were still just like the past, so it was said, "the Huis were proficient in earning profits" and "the Huis were good at recognizing valuables". The commercial areas were expanded throughout the country from relatively concentrated towns. The operators also ranged from former wealthy merchants and the rich families that were officials and merchants concurrently, to the figures of all stratums and aspects, and even to the ordinary people of the Hui nationality. 

From the later period of the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, the business and economy of the Hui nationality were shown more on some industries that were closely related with the life of the Huis people and the social demand, such as the catering trade, cow and sheep industry, slaughtering industry, tanning industry, horse traffic industry, mountain cargo traffic industry, and the industries of cloth, tea, sugar, oil, salt, grain and carbon, etc. By the period of the Republic of China, the business and economy of the Hui nationality developed to higher level. They were not only in large quantities, but also were divided into more and more detailed categories.

The Muslim's plaqueThe Muslim's plaque

After the founding of new China, the traditional business and economy of the Hui nationality have got considerable development. Especially since the reform and opening to the outside world, the Huis people's talents in business have been given full play; their domestic and foreign business and trade have got all-directional development.

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