According to the latest research of the Ministry of Public Security of China, there are totally 6150 surnames (last names) in use in China nowadays.
China has nearly 1.4 billion people live in the country and the top 100 Chinese surnames cover around 85% of the total population.
Each of the top 2 surnames which are Li and Wang even has more than 100 million population.
If you get familiar with the top 100 Chinese last names, it will be easier for you to recognize which phrases are the names of people and read articles about Chinese more fluently.
The Chinese name usually consists of a surname and a given name. Surname is the same as the family name, which is one character, and the following one or two characters are usually the given name.
Note: In the traditional way, the Chinese surname is ahead of the given name. For example, Li Mei is a typical Chinese name, and Li (李) is the surname and Mei is the given name.
However, if a Chinese name is written in English, sometimes the surname and the given name will change the order to be similar to the foreign names.
Here is the list of top 100 common Chinese last names
1. Wang (王)
Wang is the most common Chinese surname in China, which represents around 1,015 million people in the research of 2019. Wang’s meaning is the king of a country.
2. Li (李)
Li is the second common Chinese last name, which represents around 1,009 million people. Li used to be the name of the king in the Tang dynasty.
3. Zhang (张)
Zhang is the quantifier of the bow and arrow. The people who are good at bow and arrow name themself Zhang.
4. Liu (刘)
Liu is the king’s surname in the Han dynasty. The ancient meaning of Liu is an axe.
5. Chen (陈)
The people whose surname is Chen is the descendant of the king Shun, who is the second king of Chinese history.
6. Yang (杨)
Yang is the meaning of the sun. so the ancient people who believe in the sun name themselves Yang.
7. Huang (黄)
Huang is the name of the color yellow in China, it is also the surname of the Chinese first king in ancient times.
8. Zhao (赵)
Zhao is the name of the king in the Qing dynasty. It is the name of the first emperor in Chinese history.
9. Wu (吴)
Wu is a common name in China and represents 278 million people in China.
10. Zhou (周)
Zhou has a long history in Chinese history, it is a civilian name.
11. Xu (徐)
Xu is the meaning of the law of astronomy.
12. Sun (孙)
Sun comes from an ancient book ShuoWen in China. It is a character in that book.
13. Ma (马)
Ma is the name of the horse in China.
14. Zhu (朱)
Zhu is the royal name of a king in ancient times.
15. Hu (胡)
Hu is a civilian name in China, which has no special meaning.
16. Guo (郭)
Guo is the common surname in Sichuan province, which represents 15.8 million people.
17. He (何)
He is a common surname in China.
18. Lin (林)
Lin is the meaning of forest, which represents 14.2 million people in China.
19. Gao (高)
Gao is the meaning of height, which represents 14.1 million people in China.
20. Luo (罗)
Luo comes from the Henan province in China.
21. Zhen (郑)
Zhen is a royal name in China.
22. Liang (梁)
Liang is the meaning of the bridge of the river in ancient China.
23. Xie (谢)
Xie is the meaning of “Thank you”.
24. Song (宋)
Song is the name of a dynasty, which is the Song dynasty.
25. Tang (唐)
Tang is the name of a dynasty, which is the Tang dynasty.
26. Xu (许)
Xu is the meaning of axe in ancient China.
27. Deng (邓)
Deng is a country name in ancient China.
28. Han (韩)
Han is a common name of people in minority ethnic groups.
29. Feng (冯)
Feng means the noise of a fast-moving horse.
30. Cao (曹)
Cao is a common name in China.
Below are the 31 ~ 100 surnames in China, which actually don’t have too many meanings. They are all just common names for normal people.
Here they are:
31. Peng (彭)
Peng’s surname is ranked 31th in “Hundred Family Surnames”. Nowadays, Peng surnames are widely distributed, especially in Hunan, Sichuan, Hubei and other provinces, as well as in Taiwan. In addition to Taiwan, the Peng surname of the above three provinces accounts for about 49% of the population of the Han nationality Peng surname in the country. The Peng surname is the 39th most popular surname in China today, accounting for about 0.49% of the Han population. In Taiwan, it is the 35th largest surname.
32. Zeng (曾)
The Zeng surname is a traditional Han surname, which originally originated in the northwestern area of Lanling County (Cangshan County) in Linyi City, Shandong Province. Xia Wang Shaokang gave his younger son Qu Lie a fief as the kingdom of Viscount, which was called the Kingdom of Juanzi. After the country was destroyed, the Prince Wu of the country went out to the neighboring Lu country, using the original country name “鄫” as the surname, but the yibian (阝) was removed, indicating that he left the old city and did not forget his ancestors, called “Zeng”.
33. Xiao (肖)
Xiao surname, Chinese surname. After the implementation of the Second Simplified Chinese Characters in the 1970s, all the meanings of the entire character “Xiao”(萧) were merged into “Xiao”(肖) (not only the last name). So all Xiao surnames were written as Xiao(肖) surnames, but after the official abolition of the second simplified characters, due to the relevant regulations of the household registration management department, it was very difficult to change the surnames, so many people did not change back to Xiao surnames.
34. Tian (田)
The Tian family comes from the Gui family, and the surnames Chen and Hu come from the same line. After the demise of Chen Guo (located in Huaiyang County, Zhoukou City, Henan Province), Chen Wan, a descendant of Chen Hugong, fled to Qi State and later named Tian as his clan. The ancestor of the surname was Chen Wan, a clan of Chen Guogong (a native of Huaiyang County, Zhoukou City, Henan Province)
35. Dong (董)
The Dong surname, one of the Chinese surnames, is an ancient surname. The origin of the Dong surname can be traced back to Emperor Zhuanxu of Gaoyang, a descendant of the Yellow Emperor. It is said that Zhuan Xu has a sub-name, and the clan lives in the Ruhe area in southeast Henan. Lao Tong, the second son of Lao Tong, Li and Wu Hui successively served as Zhu Rong in the Gaoxin era. Lu Zhong, the son of Wu Hui, had six sons, who later developed into six big tribes. The second son of Lu Zhong Huilian, also named Shenhu, had the surname Dong. The son of Huilian Lian Shuan, and the son of Lian Shuan raised the dragon for Emperor Shun. Emperor Shun named Bian Shuan’s son Yu Dong, called Dong’s father, and called the Polong clan.
36. Pan (潘)
The Pan surname is one of the Chinese surnames, ranking 36th among the Chinese surnames today,  accounting for 0.48% of the total population of the country. The Pan surname clan also lives in the Korean Peninsula and Vietnam.
37. Yuan (袁)
The surname Yuan, one of the Chinese surnames, is a multi-ethnic and multi-source surname. After Yu Shun, the ancient emperor, the ancestor was Yuan Taotu.
38. Cai (蔡)
The Cai surname, one of the Chinese surnames, is a typical multi-ethnic, multi-sourced surname, mainly derived from the Ji surname, the Xi surname and the minority surnames. In the Western Zhou Dynasty, Cai Zhong was the ancestor of the Cai family name.
The surname Cai ranked 155th in the Song version of “Hundred Family Surnames”. As of 2013, the total population of the contemporary surname Cai reached 5.52 million, accounting for about 0.46% of the total population of the country, and the total population ranked 44th among Chinese surnames. The distribution of the surname Cai in the country is mainly concentrated in the three provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. The country has formed a region with a high percentage of the surname Cai in the southeast coastal area.
39. Jiang (蒋)
Jiang’s surname is one of the hundreds of surnames in China. According to the records in the “Yuanhe Surname Compilation”, the Jiang family originated from the Ji surname, came from the Zhou royal family, after Zhou Gongdan’s third son Jiang Boring, after the country’s name Jiang Guo (now Huaibin, Henan Province) County) is the clan.
Jiang is an ancient, multi-ethnic, and multi-origin surname. During the Song Dynasty, the Jiang surname was about 260,000 people, accounting for about 0.34% of the national population, ranking 61st. Jiangsu is the largest province surnamed Jiang, accounting for 22.6% of the total population of Jiang surname in the country. During the Ming Dynasty, Jiang was surnamed approximately 490,000, accounting for about 0.53% of the national population, ranking forty-third. Jiangsu is still the largest province surnamed Jiang, accounting for about 23.2% of the total population of Jiang surname. According to the data of “Three Hundred Surnames in China (Part 1)” in 2006, the contemporary Jiang surname has a population of nearly 5.4 million, making it the 45th largest surname in the country, accounting for approximately 0.43% of the national population. The distribution in the country is mainly concentrated in the three provinces of Sichuan, Hunan and Jiangsu, accounting for about 42% of the total population of Jiang. Secondly, they are distributed in Guangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Chongqing and Guizhou provinces and cities, accounting for about 31% of the total population of Jiang. Sichuan is home to 17% of the total population of Jiang, making it the largest province in Jiang. The country has formed a gathering area of Jiang surname centered on Sichuan, Chongqing, Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
40. Yu (余)
The surname Yu, one of the hundred surnames in China, mainly originated from the surname Ji, who was after Yu Yu in the Qin State during the Spring and Autumn Period. Ranked 51st among the 100 family surnames in the Song version (90th in the Republican version). According to the 6th national census in 2010, the population of the remaining surnames in Mainland China is about 6.5 million (statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics) , Accounting for about 0.52% of China’s total population, ranking 41st that year (ranked 40th in the latest demographic data of the Ministry of Public Security in 2019). The population distribution is mainly in Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and other southern provinces. Due to the difference in pronunciation in ancient times, there are many differences in the origins of the remaining characters. The birthplace of the surname Yu originated in Fengxiang, Shaanxi. The ancestor of the surname is Ji Yu.
41. Yu (于)
42. Du (杜)
43. Ye (叶)
44. Cheng (程)
45. Wei (魏)
46. Su (苏)
47. Lv (吕)
48. Ding (丁)
49. Ren (任)
50. Lu (卢)
51. Yao (姚)
52. Shen (沈)
53. Zhong (钟)
54. Jiang (姜)
55. Cui (崔)
56. Tan (谭)
57. Lu (陆)
58. Wang (汪)
59. Fan (范)
60. Liao (廖)
61. Shi (石)
62. Jin (金)
63. Wei (韦)
64. Jia (贾)
65. Xia (夏)
66. Fu (付)
67. Fang (方)
68. Zhou (邹)
69. Xiong (熊)
70. Bai (白)
71. Tan (孟)
72. Qin (秦)
73. Qiu (邱)
74. Hou (侯)
75. Jiang (江)
76. Yin (尹)
77. Xue (薛)
78. Yan (闫)
79. Lei (雷)
80. Long (龙)
81. Li (黎)
82. Shi (史)
83. Tao (陶)
84. He (贺)
85. Mao (毛)
86. Duan (段)
87. Hao (郝)
88. Gu (顾)
89. Gong (龚)
90. Shao (邵)
91. Qin (覃)
92. Wu (武)
93. Qian (钱)
94. Dai (戴)
95. Yan (严)
96. Mo (莫)
97. Kong (孔)
98. Xiang (向)
99. Chang (常)
100. Tang (汤)
Have you found your Chinese friend’s name on the above list?
Tell them their surname’s meaning and I’m pretty sure they will be amazed by you!
What is the rarest Chinese surname? ›
1. Gui. Gui is the rarest Chinese surname on this list. It is an ancient surname ranked as the 3159th common surname used in present-day China.What are the most popular Chinese last names list? ›
The top five surnames in China – Wang, Li, Zhang, Liu, Chen – are also the top five surnames in the world, each with over 70-100 million worldwide.What Chinese last names mean king? ›
Wáng (王) Wáng is the most common surname in mainland China and is a royal surname meaning “King.” This surname has origins from multiple royal families from the Qin dynasty to the Tang dynasty. Those with the surname Wang are likely descendants of royalty.Why do Chinese have 3 names? ›
Until the mid-1900s in China, a person usually had three names besides his or her surname: ming, zi and hao. Ming is the name given by parents; Zi is the name granted to a person at the beginning of adulthood – men usually at the age of 20 and women at 15.What is the No 1 surname in the world? ›
The most popular last name in the world is Wang, meaning "king." About 92.8 million people in mainland China have the royal last name of Wang.What are the oldest Chinese last names? ›
According to ancient documents, the earliest surname in China was "Feng", and the earliest surnames were "Fuxi", "Shennong", "Nuwa's" and so on. The most commonly used ones in China are "Li", "Wang", "Zhang", "Liu", "Chen", "Yang" and so on. 100 common surnames, accounting for about 85% of China's total population.Which surname is highest in China? ›
The three most common surnames in Mainland China are Li, Wang and Zhang, which make up 7.9%, 7.4% and 7.1% respectively. Together they number close to 300 million and are easily the most common surnames in the world.What Chinese surname means dark? ›
Lí 黎 (2nd tone), the 84th most common surname in China. "Lai" or "Lye" in Cantonese. The character also means "dark".How do I choose my Chinese last name? ›
- Start with Your Last Name. ...
- Choose the Length of Your Name. ...
- Get Creative and Abstract. ...
- Put the Last Name and First Name Together. ...
- Always Use a Chinese Dictionary. ...
- Come up with a Few Name Ideas and Test them All Out. ...
- 6.5 Additional Step.
- Ài (爱). It's a name that means “love” and “affection” and is fit for a little princess. ...
- Ǎi (蔼). This name is similar to the name Ài. ...
- Chun (春). Another common Chinese girl name you could select is Chun. ...
- Fang (芳). ...
- Fēn (芬). ...
- Hua (花). ...
- Jing (静). ...
- Li (丽).
What is the meaning of Xiao? ›
Meaning:Dawn; Little; Reverent. Xiao is a gender-neutral name of Chinese origin and has several meanings, but the most notable translations are “dawn”, “little”, and “reverent of the elderly.” Xiao's connotation with the morning will make natural early-risers fall in love with this precious moniker.What Chinese last name means dragon? ›
Long is the pinyin romanization of a Chinese surname. It includes 龍 / 龙, which means "dragon" in Chinese, ranking number 80 on the list of common Chinese surnames in 2006, up from 108 in 1990. Another name transcribed as Long is 隆, which is very rare in contemporary China.What Chinese surname means brave? ›
Yong (Chinese: 勇) is a common Chinese name. From Chinese 勇 (yǒng) means "brave" or 永 (yǒng) meaning "perpetual, eternal".What Chinese last name means white? ›
Bái is the pinyin of the surname 白, meaning the colour white.How do Chinese pick their English name? ›
Many Chinese celebrities have English names so people choose the same name that their favorite singer or actor uses. Other people choose the names of American movie stars or even a character they play. Some people choose a name from their favorite book, either the author's or the main character's name.How long is a Chinese name? ›
To conclude, most family names are 1 character long, and most given names are 2 characters long, so the average length of a Chinese name is 3 characters.What is the most surname in USA? ›
A study published by ancestry.com found that Smith was by far the most common surname in the United States, followed by Johnson, Miller, Jones, Williams, and Anderson. However there is huge variation in the most frequent last names in different states.What is the most powerful surname? ›
1. Abbott. The name Abbott is derived from the Old French word abet, which means “priest.” It also has origins in Greek and Latin, where it means “power.”Which is the richest surname in world? ›
- The Walton family with $224.5 billion.
- The Mars family with $160 billion.
- The Koch family with $128.8 billion.
- The Al Saud family with $105 billion.
- The Hermès family with $94.6 billion.
- The Ambani family with $84.6 billion.
- The Wertheimer family with $79 billion.
A Chinese prefix used with a shortened form of peoples' given names to express familiarity, roughly equivalent to Mister or Miss. Ah Ming moved out of Chinatown last year.
Do Chinese have two last names? ›
Although two-syllable surnames exist, they are not common. The most common xìng in China, shared by nearly 93 million people, is Wang (王) which means 'King'. The next most common xìng, are Li (李), Zhang (张), Liu (刘), Chen (陈), Yang (杨), Huang (黄), Zhao (赵), Wu (吴) and Zhou (周).What is Chinese first name called? ›
Most people will revert to using their original Chinese name whenever speaking or writing in Chinese. The family name always comes first in the Chinese language.Why do Chinese have two names? ›
The first name is only used or called by oneself to show one's self-modesty while the style name is only used or called by others to show others' respect to the person they address. Many people also have a pseudonym (Hao). It's also for others to address, just like the style name, but with more respect.What is low Chinese surname? ›
Low is a Chinese surname that can be spelled in 6 different ways in Chinese: 罗 / 羅 [Luo / Low] Meaning: gauze, to collect, to gather, to catch, to sift. Regions : United States, Singapore.What's your Chinese name? ›
你叫什么名字？ Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì? "What is your name" (literally: "You called what name?")What Chinese name means heaven? ›
Tiān (天) is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion.What are Chinese Jamaican last names? ›
Common surnames among the Chinese population in Jamaica include Chai, Chan, Chang, Chen, Chin, Chong, Chung, Chow, Fong, Fung, Hugh, Kong, Leung, Li, Lim, Ling, Lowe, Lyn, Ng, Wan, Wang, Wong, Yap, Young, Yuen, Yang, Zhang, Zheng and Zhu.What Chinese surname means water? ›
Tshui Surname Meaning
It is the transliteration of a Chinese surname meaning: water, river, liquid, beverage, additional charges or income, (of clothes) classifier for number of washes.
Perhaps the most popular way to get a Chinese name is by using a Chinese name tool. These online tools take your name in English and your gender to autogenerate ways to say your name in Chinese. If this is your chosen route, use a website like Chinese. gratis or Chinese-Tools.com to instantly get a Chinese name.Can you change your Chinese name? ›
Though the ban on feng shui is no longer enforced, most name changes are not made officially. It's legal to change one's name, but China's government cautions people against doing it.
Is you a Chinese last name? ›
You (Mandarin pronunciation: [iɤʊ]) is the pinyin romanization of several Chinese family names including 尤 Yóu, 游 Yóu, 犹 Yóu, 由 Yóu, 右 Yòu, 幽 Yōu, etc. Among these names, 尤 Yóu and 游 Yóu are relatively common. 尤 Yóu is the 19th surname in Hundred Family Surnames.What is a unisex Chinese name? ›
Gender-Neutral Chinese Baby Names
Huan: This gender-neutral Chinese baby name means “happiness.” Lian: Traditionally a feminine name, this Chinese name can be used for modern boys or girls. Lian means “graceful willow.” Tai: It's a “great extreme” and can be used as a gender-neutral Chinese baby name.
The word 愛 (ài) means “love” or “lovely” and is pronounced like the English letter “I.” This character 愛 (ài) can be used as a standalone name or combined with other Chinese characters.What Chinese girl name means Rose? ›
Qiang is a Chinese baby name meaning 'strong' or rose'.What does lumine mean in Chinese? ›
Lumine is an obsolete verb meaning "to illuminate". It may refer to: Lumines, a puzzle video game series. Lumine (Chinese: 荧), the female protagonist in Genshin Impact.What does the name Zhan mean? ›
Meaning:Valuable, genuine, innocent. Zhan is a girl's name of Chinese origin. This name has an array of meanings. Being defined as "valuable", "genuine", and "innocent", baby will have their priorities sorted from day one.What is the opposite of Xiao in Chinese? ›
Common Used Chinese Opposite Word List in Daily Life: 大(dà) - 小(xiǎo) = Big - Small. 热(rè) – 冷(lěng) = Hot – Cold. 高(gāo) – 矮(ǎi) = Tall – Short.What Chinese name means tiger? ›
The surname 虎 (Hǔ), which means "Tiger", is rare in China to the point where many people are not aware that it is used as a surname.What Chinese name means soul? ›
魂: soul, spirit, i... : hún | Definition | Mandarin Chinese Pinyin English Dictionary | Yabla Chinese.What last name is Yin? ›
|Derivation||Name of the Yin dynasty|
|Meaning||flourishing, blood red|
What Chinese surname means wisdom? ›
Zhuge in Chinese, Jegal in Korean, Gia Cát in Vietnamese or Morokuzu in Japanese is a compound surname in East Asia. It is ranked 314th in Hundred Family Surnames in China. The surname has often been synonymous with wisdom in Chinese culture, due to the fame of Zhuge Liang.What Chinese name means lucky? ›
Jiayi. Jiayi is a Chinese girl name meaning “lucky one.” In Chinese culture, good luck is essential.What Chinese name means freedom? ›
The name on my birth certificate reads 'Zhi You,' a Chinese name meaning 'freedom.What Chinese last name means rich? ›
Nhiều Surname Meaning
It is the transliteration of a Chinese surname meaning: rich, abundant, exuberant, to add for free, to throw in as bonus, to spare, to forgive, despite, although.
Jin is the Hanyu pinyin transliteration of a number of Chinese surnames. The most common one, Jīn 金, literally means "gold" and is 29th in the list of "Hundred Family Surnames".What Chinese last names mean flower? ›
Fah is a last name commonly found in Malaysia among its Chinese community. It is the transliteration of a Chinese surname meaning: flower, blossom, CL:朵[duo3],支[zhi1],束[shu4],把[ba3],盆[pen2],簇[cu4], fancy pattern, florid, to spend (money, time), (coll.)What is the oldest Chinese surname? ›
According to ancient documents, the earliest surname in China was "Feng", and the earliest surnames were "Fuxi", "Shennong", "Nuwa's" and so on. The most commonly used ones in China are "Li", "Wang", "Zhang", "Liu", "Chen", "Yang" and so on. 100 common surnames, accounting for about 85% of China's total population.How many surnames does China have? ›
There are over 4,000 surnames in use today in China, however the top 100 make up over 85% of China's 1.3 billion population. In fact, the top three surnames, Wang (王), Li (李), and Zhang (张) account for over 20% of the population.What is the most common Chinese name? ›
The top 100 surnames account for 85.9 percent of the Chinese population. Zhāng Wěi 张伟, Wáng Wěi 王伟, and Lǐ Nà 李娜 are the three most common full names. (There were 294,282 registered people named Zhang Wei).What Chinese surname means eternal? ›
Yong (Chinese: 勇) is a common Chinese name. From Chinese 勇 (yǒng) means "brave" or 永 (yǒng) meaning "perpetual, eternal".
What Chinese surname means Jade? ›
Huang (/ˈhwɑːŋ/; traditional Chinese: 黃; simplified Chinese: 黄) is a Chinese surname that originally means and refers to jade people were wearing and decorating in ancient times.Do Chinese have middle names? ›
In Chinese, the family name comes first, followed by the given name. There is no equivalent of a middle name in Chinese. About one in seven people in China have a name that is only two syllables, and very few people have names that are four syllables or more.Is Long a first name in China? ›
Long (surname 龍)
|Stroke order of the Chinese surname Long (龍)|
|Romanization||Mandarin: Long, Lung Cantonese: Lung|
Many Chinese celebrities have English names so people choose the same name that their favorite singer or actor uses. Other people choose the names of American movie stars or even a character they play. Some people choose a name from their favorite book, either the author's or the main character's name.Do Chinese use American names? ›
Western names are widely used by Chinese-speaking people, in addition to their Chinese names, even though they are not used for official identification. These names might be chosen by either teachers or parents, and sometimes even by one's own self.Can you choose a Chinese name? ›
Having a Chinese name can also make you feel a lot more immersed in the language and culture. However, this is totally up to you to decide!