Hui people

ethnoreligious group of China

The Hui people (Chinese: 回族; pinyin: Huízú; Wade–Giles: Hui2-tsu2, Xiao'erjing: خوذو, Dungan: Хуэйзў, Xuejzw) are an East Asian ethnoreligious group. They are mostly Chinese-speaking muslims who live in China. They live mostly in the northwestern provinces of the country and in the Zhongyuan region. As of the 2011 census, China is home to about 10.5 million Hui people. Most of Hui people are Chinese-speaking Muslims. The 110,000 Dungan people of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are also part of the Hui ethnicity.

Hui people
Total population
10,586,087 (2011 Census)
Regions with significant populations
China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand
Mandarin Chinese, Dungan and other Sinitic languages
Predominantly Sunni Islam[1][2][3]
Related ethnic groups
Hui people

They have a connection with Islamic culture.[4] For example, as Muslims, they follow Islamic dietary laws and do not eat pork. Pork is the most commonly eaten meat in China.[5] They hve created their own version of Chinese cuisine. Hui clothing is different from that of the Han Chinese. Some men wear white caps (taqiyah) and some women wear headscarves, This is the case in many Islamic cultures.

The Hui people are one of 56 ethnic groups recognized by China. The government says the Hui people include all Muslim communities that are not included in China's other ethnic groups. They are seperate from other Muslim groups such as the Uyghurs.[6] The Hui mostly speak Chinese.[4] There are some Arabic and Persian phrases in their speach.[7] The Hui ethnic group is not associated with a non-Sinitic language.[8]

The Hui people are more concentrated in Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang) in Northwestern China. Communities exist across the country.


  1. "By choosing assimilation, China's Hui have become one of the world's most successful Muslim minorities". The Economist. 8 October 2016. Archived from the original on 7 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  2. "الماتريدية وآثارها في الفكر الإنساني بدول طريق الحرير.. الصين نموذجا". Alfaisal Magazine.
  3. "الحنفية الماتريدية في بلاد الصين".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gladney 1996, p. 20.
  5. Gladney 1996, p. 13 Quote: "In China, pork has been the most basic source of animal protein for centuries and Chairman Mao considered it 'a national treasure'"
  6. Lipman 1997, p. xxiii or Gladney 1996, pp. 18–20 Besides the Hui people, nine other ethnic groups of PRC are considered mostly Muslim. Those nine groups are defined by language. Six groups speak Turkic languages, they are the Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Salars, Tatars, Uyghurs and Uzbeks). There are two Mongolic-speaking groups (Bonan and Dongxiang) and one Iranian-speaking group (Tajiks).
  7. Dillon 2013, pp. 154–.
  8. Lipman 1997, p. 50 The ancestors of today's Hui people are thought to have been native Chinese speakers of Islamic religion since no later than the mid or early Ming Dynasty. [i.e. the late 14th to late 16th centuries]