Mandarin Chinese in Malaysia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group in the world, numbering more than 1. 3 billion. Although the vast majority live in mainland China, many have immigrated to other countries, and today they reside in nearly every nation of the world. Most Han Chinese speak one of the many Chinese dialects, which include Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien. Although the dialects are very similar, the speakers of one Chinese dialect cannot understand the speakers of another. Each of these dialects is represented among the Han Chinese communities in Myanmar.
The first Chinese migrants came to Myanmar during the Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties. In between those two periods a very large number fled the Mongol invasions and settle in other parts of East Asia. During the British colonial era, more Chinese were moved to Myanmar, a colony of Great Britain at that time, where they dominated the rice and gem industries. Wherever they went, the Chinese settled almost exclusively in urban areas and became involved in business and commerce. Today, they are very influential in the economies of many of these nations, though they represent only a small percentage of the population.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditionally the Chinese have been key players in Myanmar's economy as businessmen, merchants and shop owners. Those less fortunate were coolie laborers, dock workers, rickshaw and cart drivers. They are noted today for their business acumen, and they own a large percentage of Myanmar's factories. Mandarin Chinese in Myanmar maintain high status partly through obtaining higher education. The Burmese have tried to restrict their educational opportunities to no avail. Myanmar's heavy-handed State Law and Order Council (SLORC) loosened government control over the private sector when they came to power in 1988, and the Chinese took advantage of the opportunities. That led to them having more economic power, especially in the areas of banking and retail. Today the Mandarin Chinese are spread out all over northern Myanmar and the cities of Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi and Bago.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Diaspora Han Chinese have generally maintained their traditional Chinese religion, which is characterized by a blending of philosophies. It has added elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism over the course of time. Their beliefs are centered around the concept of maintaining harmony.
The Han Chinese consult horoscopes in an attempt to determine what course of action will promote harmony and bring good luck. They also believe in a pantheon of spirits who inhabit the earth. The spirits of their ancestors supposedly roam the earth, and if treated properly, are benign and bring good luck. They believe that ghosts exist as the spirits of people who are angry at the circumstances of their death; these spirits are said to be malicious and capricious. Deities are supposedly the souls of people who lived especially virtuous lives. They believe these deities have spiritual powers that can be used to benefit those who worship them. Although the Han Chinese still claim adherence to these beliefs, they seem to have little effect on their everyday lives. In fact, many of them are non-religious in practice.
There are Christian believers among the Mandarin speakers in Macau, and this has been the case since the days of Roman Catholic missionaries.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mandarin Chinese population in Myanmar needs protection from mobs who have been recently attacking their businesses. They need peace in their communities.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Han Chinese, Mandarin in Malaysia.

Pray for God's protection for the Chinese in Myanmar as their businesses have been under attack at various times.
Pray for Mandarin speaking believers to go to these people and work with them to begin a movement to Christ in Myanmar.
Pray for Mandarin speakers to be given the gift of faith in the power and goodness of Jesus Christ so they will put aside their traditional religious practices and depend on him.
Pray for the Lord to meet all their physical and spiritual needs.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Han profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Han Chinese, Mandarin
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Mandarin
Natural Name Mandarin Chinese
Population this Country 1,046,000
Population all Countries 885,311,000
Total Countries 55
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Beijinghua; Cantonese; Chinese; Chinese, Mandarin; Guanhua; Guoyu; Han Chinese; Hoa (Hán); Hoton; Huizui; Kreol; Pei; Potinhua; Qotong; Shanghainese; Totok; Yueh; हाँ चाइनीस, मंदरिन
People ID 12051
ROP3 Code 103686
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Peninsular and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak states) especially in urban areas; scattered.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 46  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Peninsular and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak states) especially in urban areas; scattered..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Language Chinese, Mandarin (1,046,000 speakers)
Language Code cmn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Chinese, Mandarin (1,046,000 speakers)
Language Code cmn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Chinese, Mandarin

Primary Language:  Chinese, Mandarin

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1864-1986)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1857-1981)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2018)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Christ for the Nations
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Traditional (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus film: view in Mandarin Chinese
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
20.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 5.75 %)
11.00 %
Ethnic Religions
44.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
10.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
52.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
28.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source Cadfael1979  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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