Hong Kong Industry during World War Two – Fishing, Food and Beverages, Tobacco

HF: This is an article where we can gradually add information about the fishing industry, the production of food and beverages, and tobacco products in Hong Kong during World War 2.

As bits and pieces come in I’ll update the article and re-post it with the current date.

BE Brian Edgar
HF Hugh Farmer
PO Paul Onslow
ER Elizabeth Ride
Mike T


HF “Several Japanese fishing firms had established themselves in the colony since the mid-1920s and others had moved in after the conquest in the wake of the Imperial Navy. These firms were soon trawling for fish for Hong Kong’s consumption as far afield as Vietnam.

In the meantime they set to work galvanizing the local fishing communities. They dispensed fishing tackle and fitted the local wooden junks with engines torn out of commandeered British cars; and they also endeavoured to pass on on to the still primitive operators of Shaukeiwan and Cheung Chau their own more sophisticated fishing techniques.

By December 1942 around 18,000 Hong Kong Chinese fishermen were reported to be receiving instructions from the Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company.” (Snow)  

Below is an extract from:
Essay on the evolution of regulations in the HK Fishing Industry   only the first page is foggy, scroll down. Lawrence WC Lai & Ben T Yu, Dept of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Dec 1998

Amakusa Marine Products 1 ebook.lib.hku

Amakusa Marine Products 2 ebook.lib.hku

Amakusa Marine Products 3 ebook.lib.hku

Food and Beverages


Ching Loong, Queen’s Road East, Wanchai
Hong Kong bakeries around the time of WW2

Garden Company
Hong Kong bakeries around the time of WW2

The firm closed operations during the Japnese occupation.

Lane Crawford Bakery, Stubbs Road
BE: [ The Lane Crawford Bakery] was still used as a bakery in June 1942 as my father was offered his old job as manager! This would obviously not have been a positive development, and he succeeed in avoiding the offer and continuing his work baking bread for the hospitals.

Later in the war the bakery was shut and the building used to make military buttons, rattan baskets and salted fish. This presented a huge restoration problem after the war, but the work was done – the facts that the press carry complaints about bread and note a thriving black market in December 1945 and that my father didn’t go on home leave until July 1946 (later than anyone else I’m aware of) suggest that it was a long time before the bakery was fully functional again. As far as I know it was still in operation when he left to work for the Garden Company some time in 1947/48.

The Lane Crawford Bakery, Stubbs Road, 1938-1948 

Kowloon Bakeries
Hong Kong bakeries around the time of WW2

Russian Bakeries
Hong Kong bakeries around the time of WW2

Wanchai Bakeries
Hong Kong bakeries around the time of WW2


HK Brwery and Distillery/Sham Tseng Brewery (aka Hongkong Brewery in BAAG reports) – not “Shan” as named below

The Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery Ltd, founded by Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee, “was taken over by the Japanese during their occupation of Hong Kong, after the war it was returned to Ruttonjee and turned into a profitable enterprise.”
Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography, ed M Holdsworth & C Munn, HKU Press, 2012


Sham Tseng Brewery BAAG KWIZ#71 20.10.44

BAAG KWIZ#71 20.10.44

Sham Tseng Brewery BAAG KWIZ#72 27.10.44

BAAG KWIZ#72 27.10.44

Dairy Farm Company

PO The Dairy Farm Company – Post WW1, the Japanese occupation and immediately post WW2

Garden Company, The

HF “Garden is traditionally a Chinese  company and supplied bread to the Chinese army during WW2. The firm closed operations during the Japaness occupation of HK from 1941 to 1945. The company expanded with the growth of Hong Kong before and after World War II and benefited from the influx of immigrants.”
The Garden Company Ltd – wikipedia

Taikoo Sugar Refinery (known as HK Sugar Refinery during the Japanese occupation)


Taikoo Sugar Refinery BAAG #28 25.4.43

BAAG #28 25.4.43

HF: Severe damage during the Second World War left only the refinery building proper standing. By 1950, the entire Refinery had been rebuilt.


The British-American Tobacco Company

BAAG Kweilin Weekly Intelligenc Summary #66, 15.9.1944
[The BAT] now called H.K. Tobacco Co. of H.K. Governor’s Dept. Over 700 workers employed. Tuesday and Friday are the days for rationing cigarettes to the dealers. Owing to shortage of tobacco leaves work stopped on 18 JUN 44 and simultaneously supplies to dealers. Rationing started again on 27 JUN 4 times a month on Fridays. Due to shortage of electric power machines work every second day only. From 1 JUL manpower instead of electricity had to be used for all kinds of work.

Orient Tobacco Manufactury Company

Mike T: The Orient Tobacco Manufactury Company is mentioned in the Chamber of Commerce Members list from 1936 (page xxxiii), showing Orient Tobacco Manufactory / C. Ingehnohl Ltd. as a member since 1912.


They seem to have lasted at least until WWII as there are multiple Swiss and Japanese library records dating to the end of the war and mentioning the company, specifically in relation to having been looted during Japanese occupation of the colony.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. HK Industry during World War two
  2. HK Industry during World War Two – transport

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