The Longest-lived Medicine Factory Established by the Chen's and the Li's
2017-08-31 11:43:36 GPHL GPHL
Chen and Li signed a contract as partners, "We swear to each other to fund respectively, share profit, and contribute to the society together. Our cooperation will be blessing forever."
It has been said that Tongrentang is famous in North China as Chenliji does in South China in our native valuable and long-established classic books of traditional Chinese medicine. According to the research, Chenliji was established in Ming Dynasty Wangli 18 (AD 1800), earlier than Tongrentang, and is "The Oldest Medicine Factory in Operation" in Guinness Book of World for its lasting for four hundred years.
Chen Tiquan, a businessman born in Nanhai of Guangdong Province, went back to Guangzhou by boat in 1600. His money for buying stock was accidentally lost in the boat and was found by Li Shengzuo ever in the same boat with him. Li shengzuo, also born in Naihai, was proficient in Chinese medical knowledge and ran a Chinese herb shop. Li shengzuo waited for the owner of the money all days on the wharf, and finally retuned it back. Chen Tiquan was moved by Li Shengzuo's honesty and wanted to reward him, but Li Shengzuo respectfully declined.
So Chen Tiquan used the half of the money to invest in Li Shengzuo's shop, and they signed a contract as partners, "We swear to each other to fund respectively, share profit, and contribute to the society together. Our cooperation will be blessing forever." Thus they gave their shop the name "Chenliji", which means that Chen and Li work together to contribute to the society, and then "Chenliji" became Chinese earliest form of joint stock company connecting technology and capital. They even made the family rule that the Chen's and the Li's will not intermarry. From then on, the sign "Chenliji" has been put on the shop at Shuangmendi, South Guangzhou City (Beijing Road No. 194 nowadays).
In the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic period, once fire occurred somewhere, the brigade would stop producing and go for firefighting.
In the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic period, fires often occurred in Guangzhou City, but the government was not in charge of fire equipments, which were paid by residents themselves. So the manager of Chenliji and shareholders decided to set up obligatory fire brigade. Once fire occurred somewhere, the brigade would stop producing and go for firefighting.
The famous saying about "three old", "the old brand, the old place and the old products", is well known inside Chenliji. "The old brand" is easily understood, "the old place" refers to its address located in Beijing Road (just moved to other place recently), and "the old products" mean Wuji Baifeng Pills and Warming Lumbar Kidney Pills and continue to this day.
Chenliji can live 417 years and is still a dynamic Chinese medicine enterprise, because of the key role of flexibility and fresh. Nothing is more stunning than its making process of pills with wax covering, which had set the new trend of medicine package in contemporary Chinese medicine industry for a long time.
It is remarkable that the making process of pills with wax covering was chosen to be shot as a TV video by UNESCO who recommended it all over the world in the early 1980s. The products of Chenliji have proved again that what belongs to the nation also belongs to the world.
Collection of Good Chinese Medicine is stored in Chenliji Chinese Medicine Museum. It is a book with yellowed paper sheets that detailed records all sorts of authentic medicine from ancient prescriptions, such as Shenrong Baifeng Pills, Qianjin Maternal Health Pills, Wuji Baifeng Pills, Nourishing Heart and Tranquillization Pills, and etc, and also records the address and contact information of its every branch distributed in Guangzhou, Foshan, Shanghai, Macao, Hongkong and Singapore, which is written in English and Chinese bilingual words presenting the "golden age" of the internationalization of Chinese medicine.
History tells us that many Chinese people went abroad to earn a life with Chenliji products, which were easy to carry, necessary for disease-preventing and had excellent quality and reasonable price, and then expanded into Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia and other overseas regions.
Generations of Chenliji all along adhere to the 16-character partner contract and the ideal of "cooperation" and "contributing to the society" embedded in authentic medicine from ancient prescriptions for 417 years, which also become the core spirit inherited by Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings.
Nowadays, Chenliji has gradually developed into a modernization Chinese patent medicine manufacture enterprise, affiliated with Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings and also as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Company Limited as the public company.
Moreover, Chenliji is led by its traditional culture, and then gradually explored and practiced in the inheritance and development of its authentic medicine from ancient prescriptions. Chenliji devoted itself to the prosperity of Chinese medicine industry, and thus contributes to advancing the popularization, modernization, internationalization and sci-tech of traditional Chinese medicine.
The century Chenpi created by Chenliji will not be changed by moth-eaten and mildewed in a century.