Han Chinese, Hainanese in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Included as part of the Han nationality, the Hainanese are descended from Chinese who migrated from Fujian at various times over the last 15 centuries.

Hainanese is related to the Min Nan language of Fujian. Hainanese "has evolved in unusual directions and is not at all readily understood by other Min Nan peoples." Hainanese is also called Qiongwen. Qiongwen is widely spoken throughout 14 counties and cities of Hainan. Most Hainanese are bilingual in Mandarin, while many can also speak Cantonese.


The Shang Dynasty (1700–1100 BC): The second dynasty in Chinese history was the Shang, which lasted for 600 years. The ruling base at the time was the Yellow River basin in present-day Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Shandong. Archaeological finds from the Shang period have indicated the presence of "a caste of high priests who practiced divination using so-called oracle bones. Associated with ancestor worship and divination are the Shang bronze vessels, the surfaces of which are covered with extraordinarily detailed linear designs." The Shang Dynasty was overthrown around 1100 BC. Chinese have lived on Hainan Island since Madame Xian - a leader of the Yue minority tribes of southern China - pledged allegiance to the Sui Dynasty rulers in the sixth century AD.


Most Hainanese earn their livelihood from fishing or agriculture. Severe and sudden storms lash the Hainan coastline every summer, causing massive damage to homes and boats. New industry and factories have sprung up on Hainan in the last decade. Significant numbers of Hainanese are employed by the expanding tourist industry which has catered to a growing number of Chinese and foreign tourists since the early 1980s.


Severe persecution of all religious activity during the Cultural Revolution caused the demise of many traditional Chinese religious practices in the 1960s. Most of the current generation of Hainanese youth are nonreligious.


The first mention of Christianity on Hainan was in 1630 when Jesuit priests came from Macau and constructed a chapel in Fucheng Township. The first Protestant missionary on the island was Carl Jeremiassen, a Danish sea captain, who was employed by the Qing government "to hunt down pirates and smugglers." Jeremiassen, however, "changed his mind and his profession upon reaching Hainan in 1881, distributing Bibles with one hand and dispensing medicines with the other." In 1992 there were at least 37,000 Protestants and 3,000 Catholics on Hainan Island, most of whom were Hainanese Chinese. In the six years since then, one church-planting movement has established 550 new house churches with 55,000 new believers on the island.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Video Links:
The Story of Hope
People Name General Han Chinese, Hainanese (Hi-nahn-eez)
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Hainanese
Population in China 5,865,000
World Population 6,429,000
Countries 5
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chinese Qiongwen, Hainan Chinese, Hainanese, Qiongwen
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Han Chinese, Hainanese (Hi-nahn-eez)
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 12053
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Five million Hainanese Chinese are concentrated in the northeastern parts of China's Hainan (South Sea) Island. They are located along the coast in a clockwise direction, from the northeast all the way to the west of the island..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Min Nan: Hokkien (5,865,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Min Nan: Hokkien 5,865,000
For Primary Language: Chinese, Min Nan

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1875-1916)
New Testament Yes   (1896-1974)
Complete Bible Yes   (1884-1933)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Amoy Bible Audio Recordings
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版) Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Chinese, Min Nan Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Non-Religious

Major Religion Percent
20.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.20 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
38.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
38.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
88.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
2.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
10.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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