Fujian was called the Region of Minyue (Seven Min Tribes) in ancient times. During Qing Dynasty, the prefecture of Min-Zhong was launched to govern Dongye (now called Fuzhou). In the 2nd year of Shi-Yuan (Emperor Zhao) of Western Han (85 B.C.), the name was changed into Prefecture Ye, and Dong-Hou-Guan during Han Dynasty. In the 21st year of Kai-Yuan reign of Tang Dynasty (year 733), the post of Fujian Military Commissioner was officially launched, and the province was hereafter called Fujian. During Southern Song, there are one prefecture, five subprefectures and two military prefectures, and Fujian was therefore also called "Eight Min".
Fujian has been an important culture center and trade center in the history, i.e., "Maritime Silk Road", starting-point of Zheng He's voyages and Islam base. Fuzhou and Xiamen have also been listed as one of five treaty ports, while the Port of Mawei was the cradle for the modern shipbuilding industry and scientific talents. Fujian has witnessed its prosperity in economy and culture in the history. During the Song Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty, the opening-up of ports and launching of Maritime Silk Road allowed Fujian to have more frequent overseas trades and exchanges, enabling the province to enter into the heyday of economy. During Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, the silk textile industry, sugar industry, tea industry, shipbuilding industry and papermaking industry of Fujian were well developed. However, since the implementation of the introverted "maritime trade banning" policy, the economy of Fujian has been seriously affected and gone from bad to worse after China was degraded into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country.
By 1949, Fujian was one of coastal provinces with the lowest economic development level in the country.