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Earlier, the term referred to Chinese-speaking groups with (foreign) Muslim ancestry. Use of the Hui category to describe foreign Muslims moving into China dates back to the Song dynasty (960–1279).
The widespread and rather generic application of the name Huihui in Ming China was attested to by foreign visitors as well. their thousands of families are scattered about in nearly every province" In fact, when the reclusive Wanli Emperor first saw a picture of Ricci and Diego de Pantoja, he supposedly exclaimed, "Hoei, hoei.
Their culture has distinct differences that developed from the practice of Islam.
and have given rise to their own variation of Chinese cuisine.
West Eurasian DNA is prevalent—6.7% of Hui people's maternal genetics have a Central Asian and Middle Eastern origin.
Nonetheless, included among Huis in Chinese census statistics (and not officially recognized as separate ethnic groups) are members of a few small non-Chinese speaking communities.
Huihui is presently used almost exclusively for Muslims, but Jews were still called Lan mao Huihui which means "Blue cap Huihui".