The Chinese have a long history in Jamaica and the greatest influence on the island’s culture of any people from Asia. The Chinese first arrived in Jamaica on July 30, 1854. By 1932, some six thousand Chinese people had emigrated to the island. The Jamaican government closed off immigration from China in 1931 due to high unemployment rates resulting from economic pressures during the Depression era.
Many of the descendants of early migrants have moved abroad, primarily to Canada and the United States. Most Chinese Jamaicans are Hakka, and many can trace their origin to the indentured Chinese labourers who came to Jamaica in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.