The firm of Swire and Maclaine was registered in Hong Kong in July 1946 as a trading and marketing company with 200 £1000 shares. The Directors were C C Roberts and F D Hunter of Butterfield and Swire and G A Pentreath of Pentreath & Co Hong Kong. The Head Office was in Hong Kong (business in Shanghai was conducted by A Dean of Butterfield & Swire), and other offices were opened in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama and Kobe.
The business was mainly active in the import and export markets of Hong Kong and Japan (while maintaining an interest in the expanding markets of Taiwan through Swire Trading (Taiwain) Ltd, and liaising closely with the UK through their associate Swire & Maclaine London Ltd.), providing servicing and inspection facitlities and finance to local industries. It was formed of three divisions: export, consumer and technical. The export Division acted as the sole buying agents for some of the largest department store groups and mail order houses throughout the world. The Consumer Division provided local 'know-how' advice on packaging, promotion and advertising which the Techinical Division comprised three sections: the Engineering Section (sales of engineering equipments; the Electronic Section (sales of technology and telecommunication equipment); the Metal section (supply of materials for local industries, and power cables).
Swire & Maclaine (East) Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of Swire Industries in July 1972 retaining a base in Hong Kong and offices/representatives in Taiwan, Singapor, Thailand and Korea, handling exports from these companies.
The business was dissolved in 2000.