Historically merchants and migrants were the bottom rung of Confucius society. After setting up their business in the main cities of the time, they would stick around, make their money, send it back to Huizhou but never really establish routes or were accepted locally in the cities. The wealth they generated would flow back along with confusion education and sophistication, back to their ancestral homelands. By the Ming dynasty, the flow of entrepreneurship, going mostly East and cash and culture returning was established. With their newly found wealth, the merchants would build new townhouses, some of the serious size and grander. Overtime (and with emperors approval) they built memorial buildings and archways to worship their ancestors and gods. From the stability of property ownership and the flow of cash flourished architecture, poetry, the development of writing, painting, opera and many local traditions.
This flow of people out, wealth and eventually people returning established the Hui merchants as the most powerful in China by the Ming dynasty through to the 19th century. There are many stories of this “flow” including that people named “wang” in China originated from Hangzhou. 此外，还有一个引人入胜的故事，胡雪岩（1823-1885），一位著名的官商、政治家和近代中国徽州商人的代表。 1823年，胡雪岩出生于安徽省徽州市绩溪县胡里村。 他小时候家里很穷，靠帮人放牛为生。 1835年，胡雪岩（1823—1885），中国近代著名红顶商人，政治家，徽商代表人物。 1823年，胡雪岩出生于安徽省徽州绩溪县湖里村，幼年时候，家境十分贫困，以帮人放牛为生。 胡雪岩12岁那年，父亲病逝。 13岁的胡雪岩开始就孤身出外闯荡，先后在杭州杂粮行、金华火腿商行当过小伙计，到杭州“信和钱庄”当学徒。从扫地、倒尿壶等杂役干起，三年师满后，就因勤劳、踏实成了钱庄正式的伙计。 清道光二十二年（1842年），19岁的胡雪岩被杭州阜康钱庄于掌柜收为学徒，于掌柜没有后代，把办事灵活的胡雪岩当做亲生儿子。于掌柜弥留之际，把钱庄悉数托付给胡雪岩。这所价值5000两银子的钱庄，堪称胡雪岩在商海中的第一桶金。1862年，胡雪岩获得新任闽浙总督左宗棠的信赖，被委任为总管，主持杭州城解围后的善后事宜及浙江全省的钱粮、军饷，使阜康钱庄大获其利，也由此走上官商之路。 1872年阜康钱庄支店达20多处，布及大江南北。资金2000万余两，田地万亩。由于辅助左宗棠有功，赐穿黄马褂，是一个典型的官商。