Wang (surname)

Wang (/wɑːŋ/) is the pinyin romanization of the common Chinese surnames (Wáng) and (Wāng). It is currently the most common surname in mainland China, as well as one of the most common surnames in the world, with more than 100 million worldwide.[2][3]

RomanizationWáng ([wǎŋ]) (Mandarin)
Wong (surname) (Hong Kong, Macau, Cantonese, Hakka)
Waan (Shanghainese)
Ong, Bong (Hokkien)
Heng (Teochew)
Uōng (Gan)
Vang, Vaj, Vaaj (Hmong)
Vương, Vong (Vietnamese)
Wang (Korean)
Ō (Japanese)
Heng (Thai)
PronunciationWong4 (Cantonese)
Language(s)Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese
Language(s)Old Chinese
Other names
Popularitysee popular names
汪姓 - 楷体.svg
PronunciationWāng ([wáŋ]) (Mandarin)
Wong (Cantonese)
Waan (Shanghainese)
Ong, Ang (Hokkien)
Wang (Korean)
Uông (Vietnamese)
Language(s)Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese

Wáng () was listed 8th on the famous Song Dynasty list of the Hundred Family Surnames.

Wāng () was 104th of the Hundred Family Surnames; it is currently the 58th-most-common surname in mainland China.

Wang is also a surname in several European countries.


is also romanized as Wong in Hong Kong, Macau, Cantonese, Hakka and Hainanese; Waan or Waon in Shanghainese; Ong or Bong in Hokkien; Heng in Teochew; Uōng in Gan; Vang, Vaj, or Vaaj in Hmong; Vương or Vong in Vietnamese; Wang () in Korean; and Ō or Oh in Japanese.

Population and distributionEdit

Wáng is one of the most common surnames in the world and was listed by the People's Republic of China's National Citizen ID Information System as the most common surname in mainland China in April 2007, with 92.88 million bearers and comprising 7.25% of the general population.[4][5]

A 2018 survey found that there were over 100 million Wang in China, ranking first.[3]

In 2019 it was again the most common surname in Mainland China.[6]

A 2013 study found the province with the most people sharing the name was Henan. Overall the name is more prevalent in Northern China.[7] In 2019 it was the most common surname in nearly every northern province or province-level division: Xinjiang, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong, Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, as well as the southern province of Hainan.[8]

It was the 6th most common surname in Taiwan in 2005, comprising 4.12% of the general population.[9]

Ong is the 5th-most-common surname among Chinese Singaporeans and Wong the 6th, although Wong also includes the surname 黃 (Huang in Mandarin).[10]

There were 88,000 Wongs during the year 2000 US Census, making it the 7th-most-common surname among Asians and Pacific Islanders and the 279th most common surname overall. The 63,800 Wangs ranked 10th and 440th, respectively.[11]

Wang (Hangul: ) is a fairly rare surname in South Korea. The year 2000 South Korean Census listed only 23,447 Wangs.[12]

Origins of WángEdit

Wang is the Chinese word for "king". William Baxter and Laurent Sagart reconstructed the Old Chinese form of Wáng as *ɢʷaŋ and the Middle Chinese as hjwang.[1]

The modern bearers of the name Wáng come from many different backgrounds, but there are four principal origins of the modern surname: Zi, Ji, Gui, and the adoption of the name from ethnic groups outside the Han Chinese.[13][better source needed]

Zi houseEdit

The most ancient family name of Wáng was originated from the surname Zi (子). The Chinese legend mentions that near the end of Shang Dynasty, King Zhou of Shang's uncle Bi Gan, Ji Zi, and Wei Zi were called "The Three Kindhearted Men of Shang". King Zhou was violent in his rule, and Bi Gan repeatedly remonstrated to the king regarding his behavior. The king shunned his comments and killed Bi Gan instead. Bi's descendants used Wáng as their surname as they are descendants of a prince and were known as "The Bi clan of the Wáng family".[14][better source needed] The Zi clan has existed for about 3100 years through Qin Dynasty to Tang Dynasty and exists today. The Zi clan of Wáng lived predominantly in moder-day Henan[where?] during these times and developed into the famous Wáng family of Ji prefecture.[15]

House of JiEdit

More Wáng were originated from the royal family of Zhou Dynasty. The original surname of the royal family of Zhou Dynasty was Ji (姬). However, many of them have separated out of the family due to the loss of power and land. Because they once belonged to the royal family, they used Wáng as their surname. This family of Wáng traced its ancestry to Wang Ziqiao[16]

According to the classical records, after King Wu of Zhou defeated the Shang Dynasty, he established the Western Zhou Dynasty. During the reign of the 21st king, King Ling of Zhou (571 - 545 BCE), the capital was in Chengzhou, which is the present day Luoyang, Henan. A son of King Ling, Wangzi Qiao or Prince Qiao, was reduced to civilian status due to his remonstration to the king. His son Zong Jin remained as a Situ in the palace, and because of the people at the time recognized him as the descendant of the royal family, they called his family the "Wáng family".[17]

Another origin is that the surname is from Crown Prince Jin, son of King Ling of Zhou of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Jin criticized plans to divert the Gu and Luo rivers and was disinherited by his father. His descendants adopted the surname Wang in commemoration of his royal status.[18]

In other cases, the name can also be traced back to Tian He, who usurped the throne of the Qi in 391 BC. After the annihilation of Qi by Qin in 221 BC, some descendants of nobles of Qi adopted the surname Wang in commemoration of royal ancestry.

Wang was also used as a surname by descendants of royal families in certain other states, like Wei, during the Warring States period.

The surname has also been adopted by some families of minorities like the Ke Yi (可颐) families of the Xianbei during the Northern Wei dynasty.

In some families, this surname is traced back to ancestors who either were endowed with it by an emperor or changed their original surname, claiming royal status.[which?]

During the Tang dynasty the Li clan of Zhaojun 赵郡李氏, the Cui clan of Boling 博陵崔氏, the Cui clan of Qinghe 清河崔氏, the Lu clan of Fanyang 范陽盧氏, the Zheng clan of Xingyang 荥阳郑氏, the Wang clan of Taiyuan 太原王氏, and the Li clan of Longxi 隴西李氏 were the seven noble families between whom marriage was banned by law.[19] Moriya Mitsuo wrote a history of the Later Han-Tang period of the Taiyuan Wang. Among the strongest families was the Taiyuan Wang.[20] The prohibition on marriage between the clans issued in 659 by the Gaozong Emperor was flouted by the seven families since a woman of the Boling Cui married a member of the Taiyuan Wang, giving birth to the poet Wang Wei.[21] He was the son of Wang Chulian who in turn was the son of Wang Zhou.[22]

The marriages between the families were performed clandestinely after the prohibition was implemented on the seven families by Gaozong.[23] The Zhou dynasty King Ling's son Prince Jin is assumed by most to be the ancestor of the Taiyuan Wang.[24] The Longmen Wang were a cadet line of the Zhou dynasty descended Taiyuan Wang, and Wang Yan and his grandson Wang Tong hailed from his cadet line.[25] Both Buddhist monks and scholars hailed from the Wang family of Taiyuan such as the monk Tanqian.[26] The Wang family of Taiyuan included Wang Huan.[27] Their status as "Seven Great surnames" became known during Gaozong's rule.[28] The Taiyuan Wang family produced Wang Jun who served under Emperor Huai of Jin.[29] A Fuzhou-based section of the Taiyuan Wang produced the Buddhist monk Baizhang.[30]

The surname in other countries/ethnic groupsEdit

East AsiaEdit


Revised RomanizationWang

The surname Wang has a Goguryeo origin and was the royal surname of Goryeo dynasty which was founded by Wang Geon. It is said that when Goryeo fell, many changed their surname to Jeon (全) / Jeon (田) / Ok(玉) to avoid severe persecution from the succeeding Joseon Dynasty. The Kaesong Wang lineage traces its ancestry to the Goryeo rulers.


Ō (Japanese: ) is a rare Japanese name, mostly held by those of Chinese descent, such as the baseball player Sadaharu Oh (王貞治), also known as Wang Chen-chih.

Southeast AsiaEdit


In Indonesia, the surname is often romanized as "Heng", "Bong" or "Ong" for people of Hokkien descent,[citation needed] and more commonly as Ong by Chinese Peranakan.



Wang is also an unrelated surname in Sweden and Norway. It is a variant spelling of the name Vang which is derived from the Old Norse word vangr, meaning field or meadow.

Germany and NetherlandsEdit

Wang is also a surname in the German and Dutch languages. The name is derived from Middle German wang/ Middle Dutch waenge, which is literally "cheek". However, in southern German, its meaning, "grassy slope" or "field of grass", is similar to the Scandinavian surname.

Notable people surnamed WangEdit

Historical figuresEdit

  • Wang Yi, official of Cao Wei
  • Wang Yuanji, Wife of Sima Zhao and Empress Dowager of Jin Dynasty
  • Wang Anshi, Song Dynasty politician
  • Wang Bao, Han Dynasty poet and author
  • Wang Bi, Three Kingdoms Taoist philosopher
  • Wang Lang, a Wei politician during the end of the Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms
  • Wang Mang, founder of the Xin Dynasty
  • Wang Chong, Chinese philosopher during Han Dynasty
  • Wang Chongyang, a Song Dynasty Taoist and founder of Quanzhen School
  • Wang Chuzhi, a regional military governor for Dingzhou during the 5 Dynasties and 10 Kingdoms era
  • Wang Dun, Jin Dynasty (265-420) a rebellious Jin general later warlord
  • Wang Dao, Jin Dynasty pre-eminent statesman, premier and advisor
  • Wang Gui Chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
  • Wang Fangqing, real name Wang Lin, served during the Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty as a chancellor
  • Wang Fu, a philosopher from Gansu in the Eastern Han Dynasty
  • Wang Fu, a Shu Han general serving under Liu Bei
  • Wang Fu, an influential eunuch in Han Dynasty
  • Wang Fu, a painter from Ming Dynasty
  • Wang Fuzhi, Chinese philosopher and historian
  • Empress Wang, an empress of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty.
  • Wang Huizu, Chinese jurist.
  • Wang Jian, a greatest general from Qin Dynasty
  • Wang Jian, Liu Song and Southern Qi official
  • Wang Jian, founding emperor of Former Shu, posthumously known as Gaozu
  • Wang Jian, a painter from Ming Dynasty
  • Wang Jun, Jin dynasty general
  • Wang Jun, a chancellor during Tang Dynasty
  • Wang Cong'er, a female leader of the White Lotus Rebellion
  • Wang Nangxian, another female leader of the White Lotus Rebellion
  • Wang Rong, known as the 3rd East General, he served during the Jin Dynasty
  • Wang Shenzhi, founder of the Min Kingdom in Fujian
  • Wang Shichong, a general serving under the Sui Dynasty
  • Wang Su, son of Wang Lang, adviser to Sima Shi


  • An Wang (王安), computer scientist who founded Wang Laboratories
  • Charles Wang, computer entrepreneur
  • Charles Wang (physician), physician and lawyer
  • Jackson Wang, Hong Kong born Chinese member of South Korean boy group GOT7
  • Vera Wang, fashion designer
  • Wang Bingbing, Chinese ski mountaineer
  • Wang Chiu-chiang, Chinese painter
  • Wang Daiyu, Chinese Muslim scholar
  • Wang Dan, student leader - Tiananmen Square dissident
  • Wang Daohan, former president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS)
  • Wang Dongxing, Mao Zedong's principal bodyguard during the Cultural Revolution
  • Wang Fanxi, Trotskyist
  • Wang Feifei (王霏霏), Chinese singer member part of South Korean girl group Miss A.
  • Wang Guangmei, wife of President Liu Shaoqi
  • Wang Guangya, UN ambassador
  • Wang Guowei, late Qing Dynasty and early Republican Chinese scholar
  • Wang Hao, chess grandmaster
  • Wang Hao, table tennis player
  • Wang Hao, Chinese-American logician, philosopher and mathematician
  • Dylan Wang, Chinese actor, singer and model
  • Wang Hongwen, Chinese politician which is the youngest member of the Gang of Four
  • Wang Hsien Chung, Chinese-American mathematician
  • Wang Jinghong, Chinese Muslim admiral
  • Wang Jishan, served during the Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty as a chancellor
  • Wang Jun, son of Wang Zhen, is a famous Chinese businessman chairman of CITIC and Poly Technologies, China
  • Wang Jun, a PRC politician
  • Wang Junkai, singer and actor, member of TFBoys
  • Wang Ju-Rong, Chinese Muslim martial artist
  • Wang Lin, badminton player
  • Wang Linkai, Chinese rapper, former member of Chinese boy group Nine Percent
  • Wang Ling, historian of Chinese science
  • Wang Liqiang, defector
  • Wang Liqin, table tennis player
  • Wang Meng, known as Marquess Wu of Qinghe is a prime minister for Former Qin
  • Wang Ming, a senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Mastermind of 28 Bolsheviks group
  • Wang Ming-Chen (1906-2010), Chinese female physicist and science educator
  • Wang Nan, table tennis player
  • Wang Qiang, Chinese tennis player
  • Wang Qing, actor/singer/entrepreneur known for his role at bl drama counterattack web series
  • Wang Rong, regional politician in Guangdong and Jiangsu
  • Wang Shiwei, a Chinese journalist and literary writer
  • Wang Shizhen, Yuan Shikai's Beiyang subordinate
  • Shuping Wang, a Chinese-American medical researcher and public health whistleblower
  • Wang Talu, Chinese actor
  • Wang Tao, reformer, political essayist, newspaper publisher, fiction writer
  • Wayne Wang, film director
  • Wang Wei, Tang Dynasty poet
  • Wang Xizhi, Jin Dynasty (265-420) calligrapher known as the Sage Calligrapher lived in Jin Dynasty
  • Wang Xianzhi, calligrapher
  • Wang Xianzhi, Tang Dynasty agrarian rebel
  • Wang Xiaobo, modern writer
  • Wang Xiaojie, a general served during Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty
  • Wang Xuan, an official of Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, briefly serving as chancellor
  • Wang Xuan, an innovator of the Chinese printing industry
  • Wang Xuance, a diplomat to India and guard that served during the Tang Dynasty
  • Wang Yangming, Ming Dynasty Neo-Confucian
  • Wang Yan, Olympic gymnast
  • Wang Yanhan, son of Wang Shenzhi, second king of the Min Kingdom ruled from 925-926
  • Wang Yanjun, son of Wang Yanhan, third king of the Min Kingdom ruled from 926-935
  • Wang Yaowu, high-ranking KMT general who fought the Imperial Japanese army and Chinese Communists from 1924-1948
  • Wang Yeping, wife of President Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
  • Wang Yihan, successful badminton player from Shanghai, China. 2011 World Champion.
  • Wang Yibo, Actor and member of Korean-Chinese group Uniq.
  • Wang Yuan, singer and actor, member of TFBoys
  • Wang Yuegu, China-born Singaporean Olympic table tennis player
  • Wang Yuja, classical pianist
  • Wang Zhaoguo, a Fujian Chinese politician who came to prominence during the era of Deng Xiaoping
  • Wang Zhaojun, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China
  • Wang Zhen, an official and an inventor for Yuan Dynasty known for the first wooden movable type printing
  • Wang Zhen, a Chinese political figure and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.
  • Wang Zhen, powerful eunuch during the Ming Dynasty
  • Wang Zhen, well-known painter of the "Shanghai school" in the Qing Dynasty
  • Wang Zhen, Chinese gymnast
  • Wang Zhengjun, Han Dynasty empress
  • Wang Zhengwei, politician and former Chairman of Ningxia
  • Wang Zhi, a pirate leader in Ming Dynasty
  • Wang Zhizhi, former NBA player
  • Wang Zhongshu (1925–2015), archaeologist
  • Wang Zi-Ping, Chinese Muslim martial artist
  • Wang Ziyi, a Chinese actor and rapper, former member of Chinese boy group Nine Percent
  • Wang Zongyan, son of Wang Jian, second ruler of the Qian Kingdom (Former Shu)


  • Wang Shujin (Ong Seok Kim) (1884–1964), Malaysian educationist, social worker and philanthropist




United KingdomEdit

United StatesEdit


Fictional peopleEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b Baxter, Wm. H. & Sagart, Laurent. "Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. (1.93 MB), p. 48. 2011. Accessed 11 October 2011.
  2. ^ "公安部统计:'王'成中国第一大姓 有9288万人 [Public Security Bureau Statistics: 'Wang' Found China's #1 'Big Family', Includes 92.88m People]." 24 Apr 2007. Accessed 27 Mar 2012.(in Chinese)
  3. ^ a b "公安部发布去年全国姓名报告,"王、李、张"姓排前三".
  4. ^ Xinhua Net. 公安部统计分析显示:王姓成为我国第一大姓. (in Chinese)
  5. ^ People's Daily. "Chinese surname shortage sparks rethink".
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior, Department of Population. Feb 2005. Op. cit. 中华百家姓-千字文-国学经典-文化经典."中国台湾姓氏排行 [Taiwan (China) Surname Ranking]". 8 Jun 2010. Accessed 1 Apr 2012. (in Chinese)
  10. ^ Statistics Singapore. "Popular Chinese Surnames in Singapore".
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Genealogy Data: Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 2000". 27 Sept 2011. Accessed 29 Mar 2012.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-11. Retrieved 2006-05-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  13. ^ Origin of the surname Wang, Wong, Ong, Heng.
  14. ^ - Hundred Family's Surnames: Wang entry (under paragraph 3 says Wang is the descendants of Prince Bi Gan)
  15. ^ "Tracing of the Ancestry: under paragraph 1". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
  16. ^ Wang Ziqiao Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Chinese surname history: Wang, under paragraph 2
  18. ^ Oxford Dictionary
  19. ^ p. 67.
  20. ^ A Zürcher (Milchfecker): Eine nicht alltägliche Stimme aus der Emmentaler-Käsereipraxis. Brill Archive. 1830. pp. 351–. GGKEY:WD42J45TCZZ.
  21. ^ Wei Wang; Tony Barnstone; Willis Barnstone; Haixin Xu (1991). Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei. UPNE. pp. xxvii–xxviii. ISBN 978-0-87451-564-0.
  22. ^ Jingqing Yang (2007). The Chan Interpretations of Wang Wei's Poetry: A Critical Review. Chinese University Press. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-962-996-232-6.
  23. ^ A Study of Yuan Zhen's Life and Verse 809--810: Two Years that Shaped His Politics and Prosody. 2008. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-0-549-80334-8.
  24. ^ Ding Xiang Warner (2003). A Wild Deer Amid Soaring Phoenixes: The Opposition Poetics of Wang Ji. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-0-8248-2669-7.
  25. ^ Ding Xiang Warner (15 May 2014). Transmitting Authority: Wang Tong (ca. 584–617) and the Zhongshuo in Medieval China's Manuscript Culture. BRILL. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-90-04-27633-8.
  26. ^ Jinhua Chen (2002). Monks and monarchs, kinship and kingship: Tanqian in Sui Buddhism and politics. Scuola italiana di studi sull'Asia orientale. pp. 34, 36. ISBN 978-4-900793-21-7.
  27. ^ Oliver J. Moore (1 January 2004). Rituals Of Recruitment In Tang China: Reading An Annual Programme In The Collected Statements By Wang Dingbao (870-940). BRILL. pp. 35–. ISBN 90-04-13937-0.
  28. ^ William H. Nienhauser (2010). Tang Dynasty Tales: A Guided Reader. World Scientific. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-981-4287-28-9.
  29. ^ David R. Knechtges; Taiping Chang (10 September 2010). Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol.I): A Reference Guide, Part One. BRILL. pp. 544–. ISBN 978-90-04-19127-3.
  30. ^ Steven Heine; Dale Wright (22 April 2010). Zen Masters. Oxford University Press. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-0-19-971008-9.


  • Yuan (), Yida (義達) (2002). Chinese Surnames, Group Heredity and Spread of Population (中国姓氏·群体遗传和人口分布). Huadong Training College Publishing Group (華東師範大學出版社). ISBN 7-5617-2769-0.
  • Zhang (), Lihe (勵和) (1998). The Great Dictionary of Chinese Names (中國人名大辭典), updated by Xu Shitian (許師慎). The Commercial Press (商務印書館). ISBN 7-100-02555-9.