On social media

WHY USE AN ENGLISH NAME?: Should a Chinese celebrity use an English name in public? Not according to Chinese writer Liu Xinda, who is known for criticising celebrities on Weibo. 	The self-styled "director from the seventh generation" took aim at Chin
Angelababy (above).PHOTO: ANGELABABY/WEIBO

WHY USE AN ENGLISH NAME?: Should a Chinese celebrity use an English name in public? Not according to Chinese writer Liu Xinda, who is known for criticising celebrities on Weibo.     

The self-styled "director from the seventh generation" took aim at Chinese model-actress Angelababy, 31, on Sunday. He wrote: "She has been using an English name even though she is a Chinese and a Shanghainese. People who do not know her will mistake her for a Westerner."

Angelababy's real name is Angela Yeung Wing or Yang Ying in Chinese. She was born in Shanghai to a Shanghainese mother and a father who is of German-Chinese parentage. Her family moved to Hong Kong when she was 13.

She is married to Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming and had said in past interviews that her nickname was Baby when she was young and she combined Angela and Baby to form her stage name Angelababy.     

Liu also brought up Angelababy's recent post on her not celebrating Valentine's Day. "Since she dislikes Western festivals, I hope she can also dislike her English name and use back her Chinese name," he wrote.     

Liu's post caught the attention of Hong Kong writer Chip Tsao, who responded on Facebook on Wednesday. "Chinese movies require positive energy, and the English name Angelababy will encourage the next generation of Chinese movie viewers to learn the English language better and not idolise the West."     

Tsao, who has written columns for Hong Kong media such as Apple Daily and Ming Pao Weekly, added: "Hong Kong used to be a British colony with a different culture, and Angelababy became well-known first in Hong Kong. She was named this way due to Hong Kong's unique social and historical background."     

He added that celebrities with an Asian ethnicity like actress Maggie Q and model Lisa S have also appeared in China, but they have not been asked by China's National Radio and Television Administration to change their names.     

Liu has not responded, while Angelababy has kept silent on the issue.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2021, with the headline 'On social media'. Subscribe