Chinese Peruvian
Total population
1,300,000 - 1,600,000
3-4% of the Peruvian population[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
Lima, Huacho, Moyobamba, Tarapoto, Iquitos
Spanish, Mandarin, Hakka Chinese, Cantonese, Macanese, others
Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion
Related ethnic groups
Asian Latin American, Japanese Peruvian

Template:Chinese Chinese Peruvians, also known as tusán (a loanword from Chinese 土生 pinyin: tǔ shēng, jyutping: tou2 saang1 "local born"), are people of Overseas Chinese ancestry born in Peru, or who have made Peru their adopted homeland.

Most Chinese Peruvians are multilingual. In addition to Spanish or Quechua, many of them speak one or more Chinese dialects that may include Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and Minnan. Since the first Chinese immigrants came from Macau, some of them also speak Portuguese. In Peru, Asian Peruvians are estimated at least 5% of the population.[3] one source places the number of citizens with some Chinese ancestry at 5 million, which equates to 20% of the country's total population.[4]


Early history

Chinese immigrants in the 19th century, who took a four-month trip from Macau (then a Portuguese territory), settled as contract laborers or "coolies". Other Chinese coolies from Guangdong followed.

One hundred thousand Chinese contract laborers, 95% were Cantonese and almost all male, were sent mostly to the sugar plantations from 1849 to 1874, for the termination of slavery and continuous labor for the coastal guano mines and especially for the coastal plantations where they became a major labor force (contributing greatly to the Peruvian Guano Boom) until the end of the century. While the coolies were believed to be reduced to virtual slaves, they also represented a historical transition from slave to free labor.

Another group of Chinese settlers came after the founding of Sun Yat-sen's republic in 1912, World War II, and the establishment of Communist rule in 1949.

In 1957 speakers of Cantonese constituted 85 per cent of the total, the rest of whom were Hakka speakers.[5]

Modern-day immigration

Recent Chinese immigrants settled in Peru from Hong Kong and, again, Macau because of fear of their return to Communist rule in 1997 and 1999, while others have come from other places in mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian Chinese communities, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Many Chinese Indonesians came to Peru after anti-Chinese riots and massacres in those countries in the 1960s, 1970s, and late 1990s. These recent Chinese immigrants make Peru the home of the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America.


Many Chinese Peruvians left Peru in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them headed to the United States, where they were called Chinese Americans or Peruvian Americans of Chinese descent, while others went to Canada, Spain, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, or New Zealand.

Role in the economy

After their contracts ended, many of them adopted the last name of their patrons (one of the reasons that many Chinese Peruvians carry Spanish last names). Some freed coolies (and later immigrants) established many small businesses. These included chifas (Chinese-Peruvian restaurants - the word is derived from chī fàn, or "eat meal" in Mandarin). Calle Capón, Lima's Chinatown, also known as Barrio Chino de Lima, became one of the Western Hemisphere's earliest Chinatowns. The Chinese coolies married Peruvian women, and many Chinese Peruvians today are of mixed Chinese, Spanish, and African or Native American descent. Chinese Peruvians also assisted in the building of railroad and development of the Amazon Rainforest, where they tapped rubber trees, washed gold, cultivated rice, and traded with the Indians. They even became the largest foreign colony in the Amazon capital of Iquitos by the end of the century.

Prominent Chinese Peruvians

  • Pedro Zulen (1889–1925), philosopher, university professor (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos), poet, writer[6]
  • Edwin Vasquez Cam, Olympic gold medal Free Pistol (1948)
  • Siu Kam Wen (1951-), Novelist
  • Eugenio Chang Rodríguez, writer, linguist, university professor (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/City University of New York)
  • Rosa Fung Pineda, archaeologist
  • Víctor Joy Way, former Prime Minister of Peru
  • José Antonio Chang, former Prime Minister of Peru
  • Erasmo Wong, founder and former owner of the Wong supermarket chain
  • Alfredo Raul Chang Ruiz, Current director of the oldest and still active magazine of Peru called "Revista Oriental",[7] a magazine with the theme of links of Peruvian and Asian communities
  • Patty Wong, TV host
  • Iván Miranda Chang, former professional tennis player
  • Efraín Wong, Operations Manager of the Corporación Wong and founder of Las Falcas distillery.[8]
  • Walter Wong Gutiérrez, anthropologist, Ayacucho Regional Director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (1980-1982)[9][10]
  • Annie Yep TV Host, Journalist
  • Isabel Wong-Vargas, businesswoman, owner of La Caleta restaurant in Lima, received various gastronomic awards including the Best Seafood restaurant in Lima[11][12]
  • Teodoro Wuchi, former professional footballer
  • Humberto Lay, Congress man
  • Javier Wong, Chef
  • Alan Wong, Karate Sensei, Aerobics, Trainer, Gym owner
  • Jimmy Wong, Karate Sensei, 1st place Greece 2009 X Shotokan World Karate Championship, 2nd place World Championship Los Angeles 1989

See also


Further reading

    • Translated into Chinese as
  • Lausent-Herrera, Isabelle. "The Chinese in Peru and the Changing Peruvian Chinese Community(ies)." In Journal of Chinese Overseas, 7(2011), pp. 69–113. Available online.

External links

  • APCH.com, Asociación Peruano China (Web official)
Help improve this article
Sourced from World Heritage Encyclopedia™ licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Help to improve this article, make contributions at the Citational Source
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.