top of page

Our History

The roots of the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce date back to 1852. During the early years, the group was informally known as Chinese Merchants’ Organizations and took up business-related concerns, including the import of goods, business conflicts and arbitration, managing debts, and supervising business closures in Chinatown. 

The community’s challenges of the day included opposition to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the rebuilding of Chinatown after its complete destruction in the 1906 earthquake.

At that time, leadership from Chinatown and the Chinese Six Companies thwarted efforts by San Francisco’s elected officials to pressure the Chinese community to move to Hunters Point—on the outskirts of town. To save the neighborhood, community leadership pitched the idea of re-building the neighborhood into an “ideal Oriental city” that could generate tourism and provide economic prosperity to the community.

Image of Chinatown Grant Ave in the 1950s

On the heels of this re-birth of the new Chinatown, China’s Agriculture and Commerce Department sent an official correspondence and a new seal with the name “San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce.” The leaders of that day liked this new name and officially adopted it as their own on May 19, 1917.

During the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the Chinese Chamber defended even more assaults on the Chinese community—making it a priority to promote uniquely Chinese-American traditions like the Chinese New Year Parade, the Flower Market Fair, the Miss Chinatown Pageant, Choy Sun Doe.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a surge of Chinese Americans from a younger generation who became involved with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Under their watch, the Chinese Chamber grew even stronger and more established, serving thousands of merchants and residents alike.

Today, the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce continues to grow with more members than ever. At its core, the organization remains committed to Chinatown's economic prosperity and safety, and the civic well-being of San Francisco’s Chinese community. 

The organization works in partnership to fight for equal opportunities and the advancement of Chinese Americans.

The Chinese Chamber promotes local small businesses and companies for a healthy economic ecosystem that brings prosperity to the community. It proudly stands at the center of San Francisco's Chinatown, the historic and spiritual home of our Chinese-American community.

Image of the Chinese New Year parade in the early 1990s
bottom of page