Chinese Argentine

Chinese Argentine
Chinese Argentine
Año nuevo chino Buenos Aires.jpg
Chinese New Year celebration in Buenos Aires' Chinatown.
Total population
100,000 (2008)
Regions with significant populations
Buenos Aires

Rioplatense Spanish · Chinese


Buddhism · Christianity

Related ethnic groups

Overseas Chinese · Asian Argentine

Chinese Argentines are citizens of Argentina of Chinese ancestry. As of 2008, there are about 100,000 Argentines of Chinese origin .[1]



The Chinese in Argentina came mostly in two waves. The first wave of immigrants arrived from Taiwan in the 1980s and over the years, they have become accustomed to the porteño lifestyle. The second wave came in the 1990s, hailing mostly from Fujian Province. This group is filled with young drifters who came often through the illegal smuggling route originating in Fujian Province.[2]

Recently, there has been a third and newer wave of Chinese immigration who are mostly ambitious and educated members of China’s growing middle-class who are looking to find their place in China’s growing economy. Young employees of Chinese companies have recently arrived to work for at least two years. Today, many Chinese Argentines usually run supermercados chinos (Chinese supermarkets), which dominate the second tier of grocery stores in Buenos Aires. Tintorerías (Dry Cleaners) for laundry are also a common Chinese-run business and Chinese restaurants can be found on nearly every street corner.


Since the Argentine economic crisis, many small Chinese-owned businesses have faced significant crime. Robberies are frequent, with one Chinese supermarket reportedly robbed up to 14 times in one year. Also, stories of family members shot at gunpoint in their store are not uncommon. Also, tensions have arisen with other immigrant groups as well.[2]

In June 2006, the union of truck drivers began a boycott of Chinese-owned stores. This was due to an alleged gun-related incident between a driver and a store owner, which involved illegal firearms.[3] Shortages in stores were reported due to a lack of deliveries until the boycott was officially lifted the following month.[4]

Buenos Aires' Chinatown

Buenos Aires' Chinatown is a largely commercial section two blocks long in the barrio of Belgrano, Buenos Aires. This neighborhood contains several Chinese restaurants, grocery stores, and a Buddhist temple. It is the heart of the Chinese community in Argentina. The neighborhood began to develop in the 1980s when newly arrived Taiwanese and mainland Chinese immigrants settled in this area.[5] The neighborhood is also known for its Chinese New Year celebrations.

See Also


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