For 60 Years - Black Cat is the Best You Can Get
Our heritage was founded in Canton in 1906 by Mr. Fung Pak-liu and Mr. Li To-ming, Li & Fung was one of the first companies financed solely by Chinese capital to engage directly in exporting from China. Initially it traded largely in porcelain and silk before diversifying into bamboo and rattan ware, jade, ivory, handicrafts and fireworks.
Even in the early days of China trade, Hong Kong had always been the deep water port for Southern China, as the river port of Canton was too shallow for ocean-going ships. Fung Pak-liu's second son, Fung Hon-chu, was thus sent to Hong Kong to establish the firm's first branch and to handle the shipping of its goods.
Li & Fung was formally established in Hong Kong as a limited company on 28 December 1937. During the Second World War the company had to cease trading for several years. It passed into the hands of the second generation led by Fung Hon-chu after Fung Pak-liu passed away in 1943. Shortly after the end of the War, Li To-ming, who had been a silent partner, retired and sold his shares to the Fung Family.
The history of firecrackers is deeply embedded in the Chinese psyche, in its traditions, its ceremonies and culture. Just as Europeans enjoy the pop of a champagne cork and a sip of sparkling wine to celebrate a birth, a marriage, a home-coming or a business deal, Chinese people prefer something more demonstrative than a single pop and a subdued fizz! In ancient China, people used to burn pieces of the ever present bamboo to celebrate the coming of the Lunar New Year. As they caught fire, the bamboos cracked and burst with a loud popping sound. People believed that the noise would drive away "evil spirits", thus the firing of bamboos was considered to be the best way to ensure a New Year of health, peace and prosperity.
In time, the Chinese discovered that certain mixtures of carbon, potassium nitrate and sulphur produced an even more spectacular explosive effect - a very useful commodity for hurling missiles and weapons (like arrows) in war, and, when peace came, a vast improvement on the simple burning of bamboo. But in spite of its superior volatility, the firecracker retains its ancient name of "burst bamboo" (pao chuk).
In China, "black cats" are a symbol of "luck and good fortune", this fact being the basis for Black Cat Fireworks tag line of "The Best that you can Get". The Brand was introduced in the US in the 1940's by Li & Fung, one of the largest and most respected Trading Companies in China became a Registered Trademark in 1952 and is now the oldest and most highly recognized fireworks brand in the world!