British Chinese ( / 英国华侨), including British-born Chinese (often informally referred to as BBC), are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in, or have migrated to, the United Kingdom. They are part of the Chinese diaspora, or overseas Chinese. The British Chinese community is the second largest in Europe just after France and thought to be the oldest Chinese community in Western Europe (if not all of Europe), with the first Chinese coming from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early 19th century, many thousands of whom settled in port cities such as Liverpool in 1804 and earlier.
Today, many Chinese families and communities have been in the UK for several generations. These communities have an active ethnic life with many activities and support networks for members, but have also integrated into the British community at large. Compared to most ethnic minorities in the UK, the Chinese are more widespread and decentralised, with a record of high academic achievement, and have one of the highest inter-ethnic marriage rates in the country. Since the relatively elevated immigration of the 1960s, the Chinese community has made rapid socioeconomic advancements in the UK over the course of a generation. There still exists a segregation of the Chinese in the labour market, however, with a large proportion of the Chinese employed in the Chinese catering industry. The Chinese are said to form a relatively invisible community. While anti-Chinese sentiment on the part of the "white" majority host community has abated since the 1970s, segments of the UK press still frequently resort to stereotypical depictions of Chinese in their coverage of news events concerning China or Chinese in Britain.
Most British Chinese are people or are descended from people who were themselves overseas Chinese when they came to Britain. Most are from former British colonies, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. People from mainland China and Taiwan and their descendants constitute a relatively minor proportion of the British Chinese community. There are Chinese communities in many major cities including London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield, Belfast, and Aberdeen. In the 2001 Census, 247,403 people listed their ethnicity as Chinese, accounting for 0.4 percent of the total population. The Chinese community is the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK, with 9.9 percent annual growth between 2001 and 2007. More than 90 percent of this growth was contributed by net migration.