Letzte Aktualisierung: April 1, 2021

1.4 billion names – Big Brother knows them all

By Johnny Erling
Ein Bild von Johnny Erling aus dem Jahre 2017
Johnny Erling, Journalist and China Correspondent

Since January 1, China's citizens have had the legal right to freely choose their names. Thanks to digitalization, they provide the world's largest surveillance apparatus with big data. The police are thrilled.

The family council met weeks before the birth of the daughter. Parents and grandparents looked for a suitable first name. It should make sense, sound good, be easy to write and pronounce. The prospective grandfather looked it up in the Book of Oracles (Yiqing) and Confucius; the father looked it up online. Their choice fell on the double character "YouYou" (有有). It means "to have something, or something is available". The character is in the Yiqing as a symbol of luck and in the motto of the philosophy: Wu Zhong Sheng You – From nothing comes the You. The mother liked the melodic sound when the third tone swings by doubling when pronouncing You.
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