When the old Jewish community in Kaifeng on the bank of Yellow River was assimilated, a new Jewish community began to emerge on the bank of the Huangpu River in the second half of 19th century.

The mark of the formation of the latter was the rise of the Sephardic Jewish (Baghdadi origin) merchants in shanghai. Soon after the British Empire opened the door of china as a result of the Opium War, the Sassoon family came to the city to open branches of its firms. This led to a steady flow of clerks and their families to Shanghai.

Later, however, some of these families, such as the Hardoons and the Kadoories, established their own independent firms. Using the advantage of close connections with their business partners in British-ruled areas, they acquired great wealth by developing import and export trade. Then they invested in real estate, public utilities and manufacturing, and became the most active industrial and commercial-financial group in Shanghai.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 800-1000 Sephardic Jews living in Shanghai.

On Shanghai's Bund, the Sasson Building (today 's Peace Hotel)  was the symbol of the Sasson family in the Far East (Photo credit: CC-BY Chen Congzhou & Zhang Ming ed., A Draft History of Modern Architecture in Shanghai, Shanghai Joint Publishing Co., 1988)

On Shanghai’s Bund, the Sasson Building (today ‘s Peace Hotel) was the symbol of the Sasson family in the Far East (Photo credit: CC-BY Chen Congzhou & Zhang Ming ed., A Draft History of Modern Architecture in Shanghai, Shanghai Joint Publishing Co., 1988)

Special thanks to Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum for providing the sources of literature and photo on this topic.