Ma (surname)

Ma (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a Chinese family name. The surname literally means "horse".[1] As of 2006, it ranks as the 14th most common Chinese surname in mainland China and the most common surname within the Chinese Muslim community, specifically the Hui people, Dongxiang people and Salar people.[2] In 2019 it was the 13th most common surname in mainland China.[3] A 2013 study found it to be the 13th most common, shared by 17,200,000 people or 1.290% of the population, with the province with the most being Henan. It is the 52nd name on the Hundred Family Surnames poem.[4]

Ma surname in regular script
RomanizationMa, Mah, Mar (Mandarin, Cantonese)
Beh/Baey (Teochew)
Bey (Hokkien)
Ma (Korean)
Be/Bae (Thai)
Má, Bé (Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Language(s)Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese
Language(s)Old Chinese
DerivationName of a district

The offspring of Zhao She adopted "Ma" (馬), the first word of the district Ma Fu, as their surname. Other romanizations include Mah, Beh and Mar.

Hui Muslims, Salars, Bonan and Dongxiang people commonly adopted Ma as the translation for their surname Muhammad. for e.g. Ma Jian, Ma Benzhai, Ma clique.[5][6][7][8]

During the Ming dynasty, the Zhengde Emperor had a Uyghur concubine with the surname Ma.[9][10]

Notable peopleEdit

Members of the Ma clique in the Qing dynasty and the Republic of China (1912–49) era

Westernized-style surnameEdit

  • Bertha Hosang Mah (1896 – 1959), Canadian student
  • Fiona Ma (born 1966), American politician and member of the California State Assembly
  • Frederick Ma, Chinese businessman from Hong Kong
  • Geoffrey Ma (born 1956), judge from Hong Kong, China
  • Jack Ma or Ma Yun (born 1964), Chinese business magnate, philanthropist, internet and technology entrepreneur, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group
  • Jaeson Ma, American entrepreneur
  • James Ma (born 1993), Thai actor
  • Jie Ma, traditional Chinese musician
  • Kenneth Ma (born 1974), Chinese Canadian actor
  • Qingyun Ma (born 1965), Chinese architect
  • Sire Ma (born 1987), Chinese actress
  • Sora Ma (born 1984), Malaysian born Singaporean actress
  • Stanley Ma (born 1950): Canadian-Quebecois businessman of Chinese origin and founder and President of MTY Food Group
  • Steve Ma (born 1962), Chinese actor from Taiwan
  • Steven Ma (born 1971), Chinese actor and singer
  • Tzi Ma (born 1962), Chinese -American character actor
  • Wu Ma (1942–2014), Chinese actor, director, producer
  • Yo-Yo Ma (born 1955), American cellist

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ian Jeffries. Political Developments in Contemporary China: A Guide. Routledge, 23 Jul 2010. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  2. ^ Chinese West Asian Muslims
  3. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境".
  4. ^ K. S. Tom. [1989] (1989). Echoes from Old China: Life, Legends and Lore of the Middle Kingdom. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1285-9.
  5. ^ Dru C. Gladney (1996). Muslim Chinese: ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 375. ISBN 0-674-59497-5. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  6. ^ BARRY RUBIN (2000). Guide to Islamist Movements. M.E. Sharpe. p. 79. ISBN 0-7656-1747-1. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  7. ^ Leif O. Manger (1999). Muslim diversity: local Islam in global contexts. Routledge. p. 132. ISBN 0-7007-1104-X. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  8. ^ Susan Debra Blum; Lionel M. Jensen (2002). China off center: mapping the margins of the middle kingdom. University of Hawaii Press. p. 121. ISBN 0-8248-2577-2. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  9. ^ Luther Carrington Goodrich; Zhaoying Fang; Association for Asian Studies. Ming Biographical History Project Committee. (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644, Volume 2. Columbia University Press. p. 314. ISBN 0-231-03801-1. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  10. ^ Peter C. Perdue (2005). China marches west: the Qing conquest of Central Eurasia. Harvard University Press. p. 64. ISBN 0-674-01684-X. Retrieved 2011-04-17.