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Ma (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a Chinese family name. The surname literally means "horse". It is one of the most common family names in China. 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.[1]

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.[2][3][4][5]

During the Ming dynasty, the Zhengde Emperor had an Uyghur concubine with the surname Ma.[6][7]

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
  • 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. ^ Chinese West Asian Muslims
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ BARRY RUBIN (2000). Guide to Islamist Movements. M.E. Sharpe. p. 79. ISBN 0-7656-1747-1. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  4. ^ Leif O. Manger (1999). Muslim diversity: local Islam in global contexts. Routledge. p. 132. ISBN 0-7007-1104-X. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Association for Asian Studies. Ming Biographical History Project Committee, Luther Carrington Goodrich, Zhaoying Fang (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644, Volume 2. Columbia University Press. p. 314. ISBN 0-231-03801-1. Retrieved 2010-11-28.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ 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.