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version 2000

versie 2000.


Communist China flag.

  Number of versions: 10

   Edition: July 1, 2007

With thanks to Sukan Man - NL  for her translations of the Chinese.

Map of China and its neighbors.

Because China is a country that do not recognizes the Bern Copyright Convention it simply copies more or less accurately anything they believe there is business to do with. It is therefore not surprising Chinese businessmen make all kinds of Monopoly like board games like Real Estate - Millionaire - Rich Thick Man - Strong Hand - illegal Monopoly and since 2001 also legal Monopoly games from Parker/Hasbro.





Shanghai Real Estate edition 1937.Edition: Shanghai Real Estate
Publisher: Unknown manufacturer in Shanghai - ± 1937.
Dimensions of the game board: 48.5 x 48.5 cm
The game:
This early Shanghai edition is very interesting, especially in comparison with the one under here. It consists of a solid game board and a separate small box for the cards, property deeds, banknotes, tokens, houses and hotels. The Rules and texts on the board are all in English.
This set is from the collection of Phil Orbanes, who tells about it:

"The reason the game is printed in English is because the city of Shanghai had a large Western population and was the business center of China. For example, the game of Mah Jongg was westernized and published in English there, during the early 1920s (See Phil's book "The Game makers", page 66 and next). Thus, soon after word of Monopoly's success reached Shanghai in 1936, some enterprising firm published this game for the Western community there. China was not a member of the Berne Copyright Convention. Therefore, China was notorious for copying popular works published elsewhere in the world and not paying royalties. That likely accounts for why this game is not called Monopoly, even though it is a direct unauthorized copy of Parker Brothers 1935 version of the game."

So the design of the Real-Estate-version is based on the American game board, whereas the Millionaire-version is clearly based on the Waddington design. However, in order not to resemble too much the copied design the Chineese manufacturer introduced rather a number of deviations as there are:

Its name  is parallel to sides 2 and 4 rather than to 1 and 3.
The Chance and Community Chest spaces are next to corners Jail and Go-to-Jail.
The jail scoundrel is a poor imitation of the "real one".
The man directing you to jail doesn't look much like a policeman.
All corner spaces are uncolored.
The center spaces of the sides are not stations or railways but shipping lines.

Onderdelen van Shanghai Real Estate-1937.From Go onwards the properties are:

Yellowish grey
: Rubicon Road - Mac Leod Road
Light purple: Columbia Circle - Great Western Road - Avenue Foch
Red: Route de Say-Zoong - Avenue Petain, Avenue Joffre
Light blue: Honan Road - Canton Road - Hankow Road
Light green: Kiangse Road - Soochow Road - Peking Road
Yellow: Bubbling Well Road - Yu Yuen Road - West End Gardens
Light pink: Avenue Edward VII - Szechuen Road - Broadadway
Light grey: Nanking Road - The Bund

(The underlined streets are the same as in the Millionaire edition.)
The 4 shipping lines are: Blue Funnel Line - Dollars S.S.Line - N.D.L S.S.Co. and China Merchands S.&N. Co.

The Chance and Community Chest cards have no Uncle Pennybags illustrations. The banknotes are printed in black on colored paper and do like very similar in design to the American banknotes of these days.  Inside the circle it reads: "Shanghai Real Estate 1 ... (or whatever the denomination is) Realty Dollar". The Chinese character for each denomination is also pictured on each bill, in 2 places. 
The 6 tokens suggest to be bracelets charms, see the picture. The wooden houses are blue green, the hotels red
The wooden dice are typical Chinese, showing the large uncolored  one dot.



Shanghai Millionaire, war time made.Edition: The Game of Shanghai Millionaire
Publisher: Unknown manufacturer in Shanghai - ± 1940.
Dimensions of the game board: 48.5 x 48.5 cm
The game:
Gary Korzenstein from Toronto - Canada was the owner of the game board shown alongside.  (2002 he granted the board to the museum of Yad Vashem - Jerusalem.)  
In 2001 Gary told about the story of this board:

"I have been in posession of the game board  for the past 25 years. It was given to my brother in Montreal  by a friend of his,  who along with his older brother and parents, fled to Shanghai from Eastern Europe during or before WW II. They eventually emigrated to Canada before or during the Chinese Revolution of 1949.  Unfortunately I only have the game board - no money, cards or playing pieces. 
I learned from someone else that the game was likely manufactured in Shanghai as a pirated edition and sold in local stores. The practice was common then, particularly with books."

Curious to know the background of the presence of Jews in Shanghai I found the following report on a website of the Jewish Heritage Centre in Winnipeg - Canada: 

"Like the well-known Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg helped escape Jews from Budapest - Hungary, there were two other diplomats, Chinese Consul General Dr.Feng Shan Ho working in Vienna - Austria and Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara working in Kovno - Lithuania. These men were responsible for issuing many of the visas that contributed to the effort that eventually allowed more than 18,000 Jews to flee Europe for Shanghai right before and even during WW II."

It is obvious that the game is in the English language while it is likely that most of the emigrants were Germans and people from Eastern Europe countries. The fact that Shanghai Millionaire is a copy of the English Waddington's London edition is not so strange because all European issues of that period were based on that design rather than on the American Parker Brothers design. The main features of the Waddington design are:

The locomotives on the stations pointing anticlockwise. Note that on the London game boards all engines are green, whereas on the above shown Shanghai board one is yellow and one is blue.

The Community Chest fields do not show a blue treasure chest.

The Super Tax space does not show a gold ring with diamond.

Black back with sticker.The game board has a black back with a white sticker on one section. 
Between 4 red lines is the name of the game "The Game of Shanghai 
All streetnames are from the city of Shanghai, being from 

Purple: Avenue Haig - Hart Road
Dark blue: Avenue Road - Yu Ya Ching Road - Peking Road
Red: Honan Road - Tientsin Road - Ningpo Road
Dark yellow: Avenue Petain - Avenue Roi Albert - Avenue Joffre
Orange: Great Western Road - Yu Yuen Road - Connaught Road
Light yellow: Hardoon Road - Seymour Road - Bubbling Well Road
Green: Kiukiang Road - Kiangse Road - Szechuen Road
Light blue: Nanking Road - The Bund

The 4 stations are: East Railway Station, South Railway Station, West Railway Station and North Railway Station.

Binnendoos van de Shanghai Millionaire met zijn attributen .Shanghai historian Kent  McKeever - N.Y. recently bought the box with attributes belonging to the Shanghai Millionaire game board! And from what the contents show it is clear the whole edition has been commercially manufactured in larger quantities than could have been under limited war conditions by emigrants
In Kent McKeever's Shanghai site is to be read:

"From 1844 through 1943 Shanghai was one of the strangest political entities which has ever existed. It was three geo-political bodies in one, the International Settlement, The French Concession, and the Chinese municipality of Greater Shanghai. During this period, it became one of the leading commercial cities in the world.
While Shanghai did have a section which was a French concession ruled directly from France, another part of the city was called the "International Settlement" because it was theoretically under the shared control of a number of different countries, including the Great Britain, The United States, and Japan."

This means there were important commercial influences from as well the UK (Waddingtons) as the USA (Parker Brothers). This is also expressed in these games:

Real Estate


Parker Bros. design with single names on the 
Waddingtons design with double names
on the spaces and colored engines driving backwards
Large board with small separate box for attributes.
as was common in the early days of Monopoly.
Large board with small separate box for attributes.
as was common in the early days of Monopoly.
houses and hotels made of dull wood.  houses and hotels made of dull wood.

The light yellow Community Chest and orange Chance cards have rounded edges.
The 6 metal tokens are: old car - boat - canon - thimble - handbag and iron.
The ivory (?) dice are typical Chinese, showing the large red one dot.  

Nengshou, with a Smurf on the lid, ±1970.Edition: NENGSHOU  (capable hand)
Publisher: Snangyi - ±1970
Dimensions of the small box: 17.0 x 11.0 x 1.9 cm
of the unfolded "game sheet": 38.6 x 35.7 cm
The game:
This is doubtless one of few Monopoly-like games issued in communist China, because it is not to be expected "comrades" like to play a capitalist game.
It is unclear why the lid shows a Smurf. Because of the fact that the Smurfs were "born" in October 1958 and most probably not immediately were imported in China, I assume this game was issued in about 1970.

The lid of the small box shows under the legible name the name of the game again with two red Chinese characters with intelligence game next to it. The 2 lines on top of the name say: Will you become rich in the future? So please use ..
Under the silhouette of buildings are 4 entries: imitation market - trade - intelligence practice and increase skilfulness

As the small box makes suspecting, and the picture clearly confirms, the design is very poor. The "game sheet", which isn't worth the name game board, show 7 groups of 3 and 1 x 4 spaces. They are malls in 25 cities shown on the map. The two large rivers shown are the Yellow River (Huang He) and the Yangtze. From Startpoint onwards the malls are in the cities:

Green: Harbin - Changchun - Shenyang
Red: Beijing - Tientsin - Shanghai
Blue/black fenced:Taiyuan - Shijazhlang - Jinan
Red/black fenced: Zhengzhou - Nanjing - Hangzhou
Green: Huainan - Nanchang - Changsha - Wuhan
Red/black fenced: Quanzhou - Canton - Haiku
Yellow: Lupanshui - Choingqing - Chengdu
Blue:Xining - Lanzhou - Xi'an

There are no stations, there is however one white space on each side of the board that build a group with the others. As you can see there is something like an Electric Company (15 Yuan) and a Waterworks (10 Yuan) but they are situated at the Jail and Go to Jail spaces. Furthermore are 3 other spaces the government (!) instead of a bank has to be payed. This are resp.: Central Pool (40 Yuan) - Transport (35 Yuan), the green car at the third corner - Tax Authorities (100 Yuan), at the same space as Westerners must pay tax as well. 
Each of 29 Work Permits (30 x 53 mm) instead of the usual property cards show the name of the corresponding mall of a city, while the text is printed in the color of the space. 
The small cards show 3 amounts, viz.:

  1. The amount player has to pay the authoroties to buy the enterprise.

  2. The amount another player has to pay the owner. (Double rate in case one player owns the whole group).

  3. The amount the government pay you in case it is sold back. This is always half the purchase price, which strongly reminds of the mortgage value.

At Startpoint you don't receive salary but can contract a loan at an interest of 10% instead. As a proof you get a card slightly larger (35 x 61 mm) than the Work Permits are.
There is only one stack of 24 badly printed orange Chance cards (35 x 65 mm) all showing the same Smurf. They not only consist of gifts (by the authorities) and penalty payments (to the authorities), but also of action cards to buy goods. 
There are no houses nor hotels with this game
. The banknotes are a bad copy of the Monopoly notes, because except for the denomination in the centre of the note they also show 4 small rectangulars with resp. a TV-set (?) - aeroplane - boat and car. The 6 denominations are resp.: 1 (white) - 5 - 10 - 50 - 100 and 500 Yuan. 
The 6 tokens are simple pawns of plastic.
There is only one die consisting of an oblong black plastic top with the numbers 1 to 6.

This set was sold on ebay for US$ 50.- October 1999.

Qianshou, ±2000.Edition: QIANGSHOU (strong hand), version 1
Publisher:WTOY WENZHOU - ±2000
Dimensions of the small box: 2.5 x 23.5 x 14.0 cm
of the unfolded "game sheet": 37.0 x 37.5 cm
The game:
This set is property of Michael Hume - UK.
The small lid shows the last part of the 4th side of the  (American) board with GO and 2 dice (on the Luxury Tax) showing the 3 and 5 as well as a (drawn) racecar on the Boardwalk field. However, this car is not in this game. 
This issue is noticeably no longer communist, because it is clearly a copy of the Parker Brothers edition of 1985.
The small red logo of the Chinese manufacturer can be found at the GO field. Indeed the whole game is of course in Chinese only.

Striking is the "game sheet"; in this case a very soft plastic cloth that however is well printed. Its midfield is entirely printed with text (the Rules), because of which there is no place for the games name, nor for the spaces of both cards. 
The boards division is again precisely copied from Parker Brothers. However, there are a few irregularities, which are probably only caused by careless work, like:

Space 3 of the game sheet (that should built a group with space 1) has no blue bar, however there is a property deed with blue bar for this field.

The last street of the green group has a blue bar on the game sheet, but a green bar on the property deed.

The poorly printed property deeds (45 x 55 mm) have to be detached from a sheet. All 4 station spaces show the same red electric train. The prices of the properties are a factor 10 higher than those of the American and European editions. 
The yellow Opportunity cards (with ?) and orange Fate cards (with !) (33 x 60 mm) are poorly printed on brown cardboard, but they are illustrated with a picture of Rich Uncle Pennybags.
The 6 very poorly printed small banknotes (40 x 70 mm) all have the same design, consisting of a broad rim with inside at the left a portrait of a politician (?) with on top oneolardn, at the right a laurel wreath and a number in the centre oval. The denominations of the one sided color printed white notes are: 1 - 5 - 10 - 50 - 100 and 500 Yuan.
On the rim of the lid it says the game is for 2 to 4 players but there are only 3 plastic pawns as tokens. So 3 players and the banker?
There are 33  hollow  black houses and 12 just as small hollow blue hotels of plastic.
There is but one die, consisting of an oblong black plastic top with the numbers 1 to 6.
The Rules are printed in red on one single sheet and provided with Uncle Pennybags rising from the O.


Xinban qiangshouqi, ±2000.Edition: XINBAN QIANGSHOUQI 
(new publication strong hand game)
Publisher: Inland company - ±2000
Dimensions of the small box: 2.1 x 12.2 x 18.0 cm
of the unfolded "game sheet": 36 x 39 cm
The game:
This set is property of Michael Hume - UK.
This edition matches the Parker Brothers editions much better, except for the quality: 

The uncolored Monopoly-bar-with-Rich-Uncle-Pennybags is 
printed in the game sheet's centre in closed black characters.

The station spaces show the black Parker Brothers engine.

The cards spaces are situated next to the Go and Free Parking 
(with red car) corners.

The Fate spaces show the blue treasure chest.

The Luxury Tax space have the gold ring with diamond.

Passing over Go one receives 200 Yuan.

All 27 property deeds (40 x 65 mm) are printed on one perforated sheet of thin paper. And so the Opportunity cards (with ?) and Fate cards are printed on untreated perforated cardboard (30 x 43 mm)
The 6 properly printed small banknotes (35 x 68 mm) all have the same design, consisting of a broad rim with inside at the left a portrait of a politician (?) with on top the word oneolardn, at the right a laurel wreath and a number in the centre oval. The denominations of the one sided color printed white notes are: 10 - 50 - 100 - 500 - 1000 and 5000 Yuan. The value of the devalued banknotes is a factor 10 higher than those of the previous edition.

I can only assume it to be careless work the set not to have houses and hotels, nor tokens, dice or Rules, because one cannot play the game without this items. However, they do sell the game as such!



Qiangshou, version 2.Edition: QIANGSHOU (strong hand), version 2
Publisher:WTOY WENZHOU - ±2000
Dimensions of the small box: 2.5 x 23.5 x 14.0 cm
of the unfolded "game sheet": 36.0 x 38.5 cm
The game:
This set is property of David Miller - UK.

By comparison of both preceeding editions it is clear this set is a combination of the box from the first set and the "game sheet" from the other.
This therefore proves the blue box edition also to be manufactured by the same manufacturer.

However, there are a few things typical for this version, like:

The only readable words on the Rules of this set say "Qiang Shouqi", 
meaning they come from the blue edition. 

Both the small, hollow houses and hotels have the same sizes and are made of plastic. They have overhanging roofs. 
Given their number the houses are red and the hotels blue green.

The irregular sizes of the cards (30/35x58/60 mm) differ from the other versions. All yellow ones (presumably the Opportunity? cards) show a running Rich Uncle Pennybags while all orange cards (presumably Fate) show our Rich Uncle as a tramp, like in version 1.

The sizes of the property deeds are 45 x 55 mm, the same as of version 1, but different from the blue edition.

The 6 banknotes (45 x 90 mm) are the largest of all 3 versions. The design is still the same, consisting of a broad rim with inside at the left a portrait of a politician (?) with on top the word oneolardn, at the right a laurel wreath and a number in the centre oval. The denominations of the one sided color printed white notes are: 1 - 5 - 10 - 50 - 100 and 500 Yuan. 

The only 3 tiny plastic tokens are the same as from version 1. 
Both dice consist of an oblong black plastic top with the numbers 1 to 6.



Chinese plagiary, Ref. nr. 2004.Edition: Falcification of Hasbro Monopoly ref. 14535, in Arabic, Ref.No.2004
Publisher:  Hongyan - ±2000
Dimensions of the box: 4.8 x 26.6 x 40.5 cm
The game:
This really has never shown before, a falcification without equal!

This in China made edition (partly) in the Arab language in the first instant suggests to be the officially by Parker Brothers issued French standard edition of 1996. The ref.number 14535/101 shown on the bottom of the box stands for a "white box with part of the 
4th side with the red Monopoly bar with Uncle Pennybags" on top, while "101" is the country number for France. However:

the most expensive street on the Paris game board is the "Rue de la Paix", that so needfully had to partly be translated into 
English to "Road Paix". And why is the word Chance (the same in English as in French) translated into Luck, while on the Go field 
the French word Départ has not been translated and the rest of the text was and in bad English?

the text next to the "color picture of the laughing family" on the bottom of the box is again a poor translation into English of the originally French story.

Rue de la PaixAnd you will subsequently fall into an other surprise opening the the box, made of crude brown cardboard, because you do not get a nice and solid board with the Paris streets but two soft boards1 of them being a chessboard and the other .... a board with the streets of London. Considering the fact that:

the locomotives on the stations are green and "go back to Go"

there is no blue treasure chest on the Community Chest spaces

nor is there a gold-ring-with-diamond on the Super Tax space

the centre field of the game board shows Monopoly in open characters

this game board shows up to be a copy of the English board (according to the Waddingtons design) . This is confirmed by the fact that the rent of all yellow streets is equal (£ 22.-). (This error was only rectified a couple of years later as the Parker Brothers design with a.o. the black engines became applied.)
The rectangular Chance cards are yellow, the Community Chest cards pink. Both spaces for these cards are provided with a Micky Mouse figure. This immediately exhort the question if a connection could exsist between this Chinese manufacturer Hongyan and the makers of corresponding Oman editions as well those with ref. nr. 7405 from the countries Saudi-Arabia, Yemen and India?
However, the 7 banknotes have been copied with incredible accuracy and quality from the original 14535 edition even including the hardly legible text "©1996 Tonka Corporation". The 7 denominations are resp.: 100 - 500 - 1.000 - 2.000 - 5.000 - 10.000 and 50.000.
The insert of the box is a copy in white plastic of the red insert of the original edition.
The 6 tokens are simple pawns of plastic. The dark green houses and red hotels are of plastic and have overhanging roofs with a chimney.
Of both small dice (with sides of 6 mm) all numbers are in blue pips, except for the red 4 and the thick red pip for 1.

Although this set has been "Made in China" it probably was only ment for export.

The price of this set amounted to S$ 12.90 (€ 6,50) June 2003 in Singapore.

Chinese Millionaire, inland made, ±2000.Edition: Millionaire
              "Property trading board game" 
Publisher: Unknown inland manufacturer - ±2000
Dimensions of the box: abt. 15 x 20 cm
The game:
I unfortunately can not tell anything more about this issue except that it was bought  in Shanghai 2002 for the paltry sum of about € 2 .

However, I think it to be better showing the issue exsist rather than not paying attention to this Millionaire edition suggesting to be an official Parker issue with those 3 fake Mr. Monopoly men. The bowler hat nor moustache are those of the real Mr.Monopoly, while the cane is held in the wrong hand.

Inland manufactured Thick Rich Man edition, ±2000.Edition: Thick Rich Man
Publisher: Unknown inland manufacturer - ±2000
Dimensions of the box:  abt. 15 x 20 cm
The game:
Like with the Millionaire edition I only got the picture shown. It looks like a Chinese version of the Parker/Hasbro Disney Monopoly.
The picture shown is the bottom side of the box I guess, because it shows the bar code. The game board shown proofs there are 40 spaces on the board and all properties are divided in the same 
color groups as on the regular Monopoly game board.

This set was bought 2002 in Shanghai for about € 2.

Hasbro  China edition, 2001.Edition: China Wall Monopoly, ref. 00010.1390
Publisher: Parker Brothers/Hasbro - 2001
Dimensions of the box: 40 x 27 x 5.3 cm
The game:
This very luxury bilingual Hong Kong made edition with its dignified looking game board makes reminding the 1997 Hong Kong Commemorative edition.  
In this edition you'll get acquainted with 22 large cities in China, seven of them being described in the Rules booklet.

From Go onwards the properties are:    

- Lanzhou - Northern Train Station - Urumqi - Jilin -Harbin - In Jail - Xian - Power Supply - Kunming - Guilin - - Wuhan - Chongqing - Chengdu - Free Parking - Hangzhou - Hefei - Xiamen - Southern Train Station - Zhuhai - Guanzhou - Water Works - Shenzhen - Go to Jail - Nanjing - Dalian - Tianjin Eastern Train Station - Beijing - Salary Tax and Shanghai.

The station spaces on the board do not show the usual Parker/Hasbro black engine but a simple drawing of the front of some Chinese train. The Chance cards are orange, the Community Chest green.
The special HK tokens.The tokens are the 8 bronze tokens like in the Commenmorative Hong Kong Edition: a tram - shoe -  bath-tub - car - candlestick - cup - elephant
and a running Uncle Pennybags. The green houses and red hotels are plastic.

This issue is sold in Hong Kong only.

7 China city stories given in the Rules booklet:

Beijing has been renamed several times in different dynasties in Chinese history. It was firstly named Xiuzhou in the Tangyu reign 4 thousand years ago. Then it was called Sucheng and for the first time choosen to be the capital of the Yan state some 3 thousand years ago.
As Bejing was the capital city of different dynasties from the 10th century B.C., giving it an imperative historical status in China, it was renamed repeatedly as different dynasties appeared: called as Yandu in the Liao Empire, Chongdu in the Jin Empire and Dadu in the Yuan Dynasty.
The last 2 dynasties of China, i.e. Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, continued to choose Bejing as their capital city, lasting for 270 and 260 years in Chinese history respectively. Eventually Bejing has maintained her superiority as the capital of China till now.

Located at the central coastline of China, Shanghai was a trading port developed since the Song Dynasty and became an important city in Chinese history in the 19th century: after the end of the Opium War in 1842, the Qing Dynasty was forced to end its policy of isolationisme and opened Shanghai as a free trading port for Britain and other foreign powers according to the Treaty of Nanjing. With this special political background, Shanghai was exposed to western cultural and economic systems, making it a prestigious city with special culture in the decades. Currently Shanghai is the largest city in China and is regarded to be the heart of economy in China as well as a modern metropolisl

With rocky landscape as natural defence for national security, Nanjing was a hot choice of capital state for several dynasties like Changan and Luoyang.
In today's China, Nanjing is one of the most important cities, having a boosting development of oil, iron and chemical industry, contributed by the Changjian River Bridge controlling the main transportation network of China. 

The rocky landscape of Xian is an excellent national weapon for national security. That is why Xian was selected to be the capital for several ancient dynasties before the 11th century B.C.
Xian played an important role in Chinese history of 2000 years ago: since it became the capital city for the first time during the Western Zhou Dynasty, it remained being the capital under 11 dynasties, like the Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty.
Xian was named as "Changan" in the Tang Dynasty, being the starting place of the famous "Sik Road" and an important city for the international trade.

As the scripture goes, "Guilin scenery wins top ranking compared with the rest of the world." No other scenery in China is so unique, so indescribably beautiful yet mysterious, nor calls forth such breathless admiration on the part of visitors as the karst region around Guilin.

Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, the northmost province of China, is located by the Sunghua River. Harbin has an ice-lantern festifal every winter, which makes it a wonderland of ice.

Huhehaote is the self-governing region in China, meaning "Green City" in Mongolian language. The grave of Wang-chao-jun locates in Huhehaote.


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albert c. veldhuis
Zoetermeer - The Netherlands
e-mail: worldofmonopoly@gmail.com