Police believe the men seen in the CCTV picked a fight with the victim because he was clearly not from the local area, and "took exception to the fact that he was a bit different".
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Ben Mott, said: "The victim has an Italian accent, his own style of dress and mannerisms and, when challenged by the Asian males, answered them back."
"They retaliated by grabbing the bottle and launching a vicious attack that has left him scarred for life. He had come to the UK to enhance his studies and has been left so shocked and horrified by what happened that he feels unsafe and is unsure if he wants to stay here."
As a result of this incident I am now scared to go out on my own in London. I am a visitor to the UK and was considering continuing my studies here but this incident has made me think twice.
I feel very emotional about the whole situation. I also now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that will be left on my face as a result of this attack. Every time I look in the mirror from now on I will be reminded of this incident.
A student from Florida has been left scarred for life after being attacked with a bottle in east London because he was "obviously not local", say police. The 22-year-old Francesco Hounye had only been in Britain for three days when he was surrounded by a mob of five men in Whitechapel late at night.
Police are trying to track down the gang, and have released CCTV footage of the attack.
Warning: The CCTV footage contains graphic images of the moment of the bottle attack.
The attack happened at 12:20am, on June 17 in Commercial Road, east London.