Struan & Company was inspired partly by real-life, as it was modelled after Hong Kong-based trading company Jardine-Matheson. In a nod to this, the exterior shots of the Struan & Company building, is that of Jardine House, the headquarters of Jardine-Matheson.
Struans was founded in 1841, and celebrates its one hundred fiftieth anniversary, meaning it takes place in 1991. Since the miniseries was broadcast in 1988, that makes it a "future history" story, and, by the strict definition, qualifies it as a science fiction film.
James Clavell, author of the novel, is represented in that book by a writer named "Marlowe". Marlowe is not portrayed in the film, but his wife is. She's the pregnant woman who jumps off the burning restaurant with Linc Barlett.