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Why are some Chinese people darker skinned than others?

Here "Chinese" refers to Chinese citizens. Eastern Asia or East Asia in studies is a geographical term, please don’t confuse it with the ethnocultural term.

Early settlers in eastern Asia

Light skin is regarded as an adaptation gained by modern humans needed to cope with the new environmental and biological factors encountered after exiting Africa about 100,000 years ago. Lighter skin is beneficial for people living in high latitude regions with relatively weak UV radiation. The dark-skinned Austroasiatic populations may represent the skin type of early modern human settlers in eastern Asia, remaining original skin from Africa.

Skin pigmentation variation between the left Austroasiatic speakers and right northern Han Chinese.

White skin: The derived allele of rs1800414 has high frequencies in a broad East-Asian region, whereas the derived allele of rs74653330 is primarily restricted to northern East Asia.

2 polymorphisms may have been selected independently in different regions of Eastern Asia.

Distribution of allele frequencies for SNPs rs1800414 (blue) and rs74653330 (orange) in East-Asian populations: (1) Dai; (2) Daur; (3) Han; (4) Hezhen; (5) Japanese; (6) Lahu; (7) Miaozu; (8) Mongola; (9) Naxi; (10) Oroqen; (11) She; (12) Tu; (13) Tujia; (14) Uyghur; (15) Xibo; (16) Yakut; (17) Yizu; and (18) Cambodia.

Distribution of allele frequencies for SNPs rs1800414 and rs74653330

The derived G allele of rs1800414 is highly prevalent in Han Chinese(60%), Miaozu(65%), Dai(65%), etc, but it is in low frequency in Austroasiatic populations in Yunnan(16.0%).

A Miao lady in Sichuan

Dai people in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture

A Chinese Wa rapper-Nicheng

Many northern Han Chinese also carry another the A allele of rs74653330, which reaches the highest percentage among Daur(33%), Oroqen(28%) and Yakut(36%).

A Daur girl in China

A Yakut bride by Sakhadesign

Except for SNPs rs1800414 and rs74653330, Uyghur and Kazakhs also carry SLC24A5 linked to pale skin in Europeans.

A popular Uyghur actress Gülnezer Bextiyar

When did people become white? SLC24A5 in Europeans turn out to have an ancient African origin, which had swept through European populations in the past 6000 years. A study that dated the derived G allele of the OCA2 rs1800414 polymorphism to ~10,000 years ago while the age of the derived allele at rs74653330 is estimated to be 6,835 years. That's to say, prior to 10,000 years, the most population in the earth are black-skinned people. Pale skin is not something that worth being proud of or being ashamed of, it’s just an adaptation to live in high latitude region.

Content created and supplied by: LionKing_Simba (via Opera News )

Africa Asia Chinese Dai East-Asian


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