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China Merchant Group Historical Museum

This article was originally published on June 24, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

Sign on the guard house in front of the Museum
The Shenzhen Daily recently ran a "List of revolutionary tourist attractions" on the travel page, calling my attention to several sites I hadn't seen.

So last weekend we visited the China Merchant Group Historical Museum at 21 Yanshan Road, Shekou, just a 10-minute walk from Sea World. Bus 226 stops at Shekou Keji Dasha (蛇口科技大厦), then walk up Gongye 4th Road.

Vestibule area of the Museum
Although the museum lacks English signage, there's still plenty to see, and sites like that of the China Merchants Group ( or the articles on Wikipedia will readily fill in the gaps.

Model of the "Yidun" (Aden), China Merchants' first ocean-going vessel
Founded in 1872, the group "spans three centuries" (the 19th, 20th, and 21st). At first, they were purely a transportation company, founded by Qing Dynasty Prime Minister Li Hongzhang.

Later, the group diversified into three major parts. True to its history, it still has major holdings in transportation, including ports, shipping, and logistics. Also familiar to Shenzheners are the Group's finance operations, as witnessed by the China Merchants Bank Tower on Shennan Thoroughfare.

Diorama of the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company Building, Shanghai, 1907
The third major area of interest is property development. The China Merchants property division developed the Shekou Industrial Zone back in 1979, heralding the "opening up" of China.

Exhibition Hall of the Museum
Evidence of all of these can be seen in the Museum. Most attractive to the eye are the dioramas, scale models of ships, and nautical artifacts. There are also pictures of dignitaries (including paramount leader Deng Xiaoping).

The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 9-12 and 1:30-5:30.

GPS Info:
  • 22.49124, 113.91331


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