This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr. Ma Ying-piu, a native of Heungshan, Kwangtung, was born in 1864. During his youth he was ambitious, and showed a great desire for learning. At the age of eighteen, he left his native town and went to Sydney, Australia, where he established the Wing Sang Co., Ltd. This business he carried on very successfully; but in spite of the fact that he saw future prospects of increased business, he decided to return to China,—the country he wanted to help develop commercially and industrially.
Upon his return to China, he organized and established the Sincere Co., Ltd., in Hongkong. Starting very modestly, twenty-five years ago, it has grown to be one of the largest and most successful modern department stores in the Far East. It has branches in the large cities such as Shanghai, Canton, Singapore, and Namning, with a paid-up capital of $7,000,000. Mr. Ma was also instrumental in the establishing, in Hongkong, of the Sincere Insurance and Investment Co. Ltd., and the Sincere Perfumery Factory, both of which have now branches in most of the important cities in China.
In order to encourage savings and thrift among his countrymen, Mr. Ma took an active part in establishing the National Commercial and Savings Bank, Ltd., in Hongkong, in 1921, with an authorized capital of $5,000,000. The Bank now has a branch in Canton, Shanghai, and Hankow carrying on business very successfully. Besides this, he is active in other business concerns, where he has served either as a promoter or a director.
It is worth mentioning that many of his friends have become leaders in commerce and in industry through his guidance and support; due, no doubt, to the business activities of, and the important role played by, Mr. Ma in the business world.
Having a keen interest in the promotion of education, Mr. Ma has contributed large sums to the establishment, in his native town, in Heungshan, of kindergartens and a school for boys and girls. He has also contributed towards the establishment of the Sai Kwong Girls’ School in Shekki, the capital of Heungshan. A reception building, for guests, and an infirmary were also donated by him to the Canton Christian College, Canton. To honor the memory of his parents, he built a public garden in his home town, and he established homes for the aged in connection with many of the churches.
During the past ten years, he has contributed generously to charitable and religious institutions; and he has served as either a trustee or chairman of the Boards of Trustees of these institutions to which he has given his services so energetically and faithfully.
Though he is sixty years of age, Mr. Ma possesses a healthy constitution and indefatigable energy. Every day through the year, he will be found at work, either in his own business or at some other activity, He has accomplished much for the future good of society.
This biography is but a brief account of one who has struggled and risen, from a humble beginning, to become a successful and prominent business man; and this career should serve as a worthy example for many a young man in China.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 66.