12 August 2022

New Blogpost: Laurits Andersen - Making BAT Great 1903-1911

Pack of cigarettes from British Cigarette Co., where Laurits Andersen played a leading role.

The Danish entrepreneur Laurits Andersen (1849-1928) lived most of his life in China, where he became one of the leading figures in the establishment of the country’s modern tobacco industry. This blogpost series will tell the story of Laurits Andersen’s life and relationship with China. It is based on Peter Harmsen’s PhD thesis from 2021 named “Resourceful and socially connected. The business biography of Danish tobacco entrepreneur, Laurits Andersen in treaty-port China, 1890-1922”

In the third blogpost about the Danish entrepreneur Laurits Andersen, based on Peter Harmsens PhD thesis, Andersen is now among the elite foreign businessmen in China. He gains great status among his employees at the British American Tobacco company, BAT, introducing him as: "The cigarette business has benefited in many ways from the commercial experience of Mr. Andersen in China and the good advice that he always placed at the disposal of the sales staff."

When BAT is facing its biggest challenge in the form of a nationwide boycott against American products, Andersen travels to America to discuss the Sino-American tension with president Roosevelt.

Read how it turned out in the blogpost here.