THE nature of Chinese London is changing with a growing number of “mini-Chinatowns” springing up across the capital, according to a report from Goldsmiths, University of London and race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust.
A combination of wealthy young migrant workers moving into the capital’s most expensive postcodes plus soaring property prices in Soho means that Chinatown may be displaced as the iconic heart of the Chinese community in London.
Although some 26 per cent of people resident in Chinatown are Chinese – the postcode with the highest intensity of Chinese resident in the country, according to the 2011 Census – growing numbers of newcomers from the Asian nation are choosing to settle in Hampstead, Chelsea and Canary Wharf.
At the same time rising real estate values — driven in part by Chinese investment in London — are forcing Chinese businesses, crucial in supplying Chinese food in restaurants and supermarkets, as well as other services, out of Chinatown.
The research, which focuses on the traffic between London, Beijing and Hong Kong, has implications for immigration, higher education, trade, employment and housing policy.
The research’s key findings are:
Current knowledge of the Chinese in the UK and in London urgently needs updating.
New, dispersed, affluent and gentrifying Chinese geographies are changing the nature of Chinese London, displacing Soho’s Chinatown as its centre.