Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A tai-pan (大班) was a foreign businessman doing business in China or Hong Kong in the 19th century. The Chinese term is now used in a more general sense for business executives of any origin. The Chinese term literally means big class which is equivalent to the English term big shot.
Tai-Pan is a complex tale stretching over 700 pages in length, it introduces a vast array of characters, many of whom, and in quite a few cases the direct relatives, are referenced in later novels.
Shipping opium into China for bullion and tea to Britain, the China traders have made vast fortunes, none greater than Dirk Struan, the Tai-Pan of the most powerful company in the Far East, The Noble House. Struan faces many challenges to keep his dominance though, from the hapless British Plenipotentiary, William Longstaff to his deadly rival Tyler Brock, Tai-Pan of Brock & Sons.
See also: Hong Kong in films
Taipan was also a classic trading game for the Apple II and TRS-80. It spawned many clones such as the contemporary Drug Wars for Windows. [The Underdogs]
Not to confuse with Taipan.
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