You are here


What's in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business

Tech-savvy entrepreneurs have turned the ancient naming tradition into a lucrative online business

A portrait of fortune-teller Mao Shandong hanging outside his shop in an alleyway in Beijing. Mr Mao says he is ready to abandon his fortune-telling business in the face of intense online competition as he scorns his rivals in the naming industry.


IN A one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74-year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.

But business has been tough lately for Mao Shandong and others in his trade...

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to