#1 The Myth of the French Economic Power
Yes, the French settlers did install financial institutions and business practices and hoped that eventually the ‘backward’ Chinese merchants would emulate their system. What’s more, the French concession represented the best of French technology , as the Concession had electric street lights while most towns in France were still using gas.
However, in reality it was the Chinese middle class, who livid within the concessions, that kept the order in the society. They operated shops, provided skilled labor, and formed the bulk of the police force. The Chinese of Shanghai had a profound effect on the practical composition of the city.In 1905the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce launched an anti-American boycott as a show of political force. A marginal consequence was an increase in trade with French businesses and new interrelationship with the French economy. The economic power structure demonstrates that with Britain on top and the Chinese occupying a position of increasing power and providing critical services, French influence on this aspect of city life was peripheral. Shanghai certainly did not operate as a French economy. French goods were available, but English business interests dominated the economy.