Chinese Family Names

In Chinese the family name always precedes the given name. In total, there are only around one hundred surnames in use. This table shows some of the more commonly used Chinese family names. The names are shown in Chinese, Pinyin and English. Examples of some famous people are also given.

ChinesePinyinEnglishExamples
ÀiAi艾未未 Ai Weiwei - artist
Bái Bai白灵 Bai Ling - actress
BāoBao
BèiBei
ChénChen陈冲 Joan Chen - actress
Dèng Deng邓小平 Deng Xiaoping - politician
Du
FéngFeng冯小刚 Feng Xiaogang - director
Fu
GāoGao
Gu
He
Hu胡锦涛 Hu Jintao - president of China
HuàHua
Ji
JīnJin
Ke
KǒngKong孔夫子 Confucius - philosopher
LàiLai
Li
LínLin
LiúLiu
Lu
MèngMeng
SāngSang
SūnSun孙悟空 Sun Wukong - fictional Monkey King
TiánTian
WángWang
WèiWei
WēnWen温家宝 Wen Jiabao - Premier of China
Wu
Xi习近平 Xi Jinping - Vice President of China
XiàXia
XièXie
Xu
YángYang杨利伟 Yang Liwei - Chinese astronaut
Ye
ZhāngZhang张艺谋 Zhang Yimou - director
ZhōuZhou周迅 Zhou Xun - actress
ZhūZhu朱镕基 Zhu Rongji - former Premier of China

Learn the proper use of Chinese names in Lesson Two: What’s Your Name?