Transformation from Colonial Chemist to Global Health and Beauty Retailer

19 Jan 2023 04.30 PM - 06.30 PM Hybrid Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
SoH Communications Office

This is a hybrid seminar.

Register for in-person attendance: here

Register for Zoom attendance: here


The book talk is about the history of China and Southeast Asia’s largest supplier of “opium cures” at the turn of the 20th century. The successful transformation of A S Watson or Watsons, partly owned by Temasek since 2014, is a classic example of the fusion of Chinese Wangdao philosophy and best management practices. Dr Stuart Anderson, a renowned pharmaceutical historian of the British Empire, has endorsed the book with praise: “In this highly readable and lavishly illustrated book, Patrick Chiu makes an important contribution to the history of pharmacy in Asia and the legacy of European Colonialism. This book records the firm’s highs and lows in an often turbulent political and economic environment, from its beginnings to the twenty-first century. It will be of interest not only to pharmacy and business historians but also to those interested in the history of Hong Kong and China.”

After qualifying as a pharmacist in the UK, Patrick Chiu initially pursued a business career by serving as a resident representative with Monsanto, a US biotechnology company, in Beijing in 1985. Patrick later broadened his regional experience as Business Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, for BD, and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Molnlycke Health Care, based in Singapore. Prior to becoming a full-time writer and pharmaceutical historian in 2019, Patrick was the Chief Executive of Chi Heng Foundation, a global charity organization serving AIDS orphans and “left-behind” children in China.