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Liang (Chinese: 梁) is a surname common in China. Meaning "a beam", "a bridge", or "an elevation", or "a mast", the surname is often transliterated as Leung (in Hong Kong) or Leong (in Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore) according to its Cantonese pronunciation, or Neo / Nio / Niu (Hokkien, Teochew, Hainan). To Chinese Indonesians, it is known as Liang or Nio. In Tibet, it is known as Tenzin.
It is also common in Korea, where it is pronounced Yang 양 . It is also common in Vietnam, where it is pronounced Lương.
The first Liang was Liang Kang Hou who was the ruler of the State of Liang, in what is now Gansu Province in the northwestern part of China. The State of Liang existed during the Zhou Dynasty of 1027 BC to 221 BC. The descendants of Liang Kang Hou retained the name Liang as their surname in memory of the Liang state when it was annexed by the neighboring State of Qin in 641 BC.
During the Eastern Han period, a time when the Han Dynasty was in chaos and decline, a power struggle ensued between three rival groups, the powerful eunuchs, the cliques of officials and the consort families of which the Liang was one. This was largely due to the fact that starting in 88 AD, minors were placed on the throne and hence effective control of the Dynasty was in the hands of Regents. There were three successive empresses starting with Liang Na, Liang Ji and Liang Mengnu.
According to Witold Rodziński's The Walled Kingdom (1984), "the Liang family, by providing three empresses, became the effective ruler of the country by the middle of the second century, and its members accumulated a vast number of key posts. However, its rivals, the eunuchs, were able, due to their influence on the new emperor, to bring about its downfall, and the whole Liang clan was reduced in 159AD."
In 159AD a eunuch gang in the service of Emperor Huan of Han slaughtered relatives of the Empress Dowager Liang, effectively bringing an end to the Imperial aspirations of the Liang family.
Notable people with the surname 梁
- Alan Leong, Senior Counsel* and member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Antony Leung, banker and former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
- Edmond Leung 梁漢文, Hong Kong Singer, actor and a quarter of Big Four and a finalist of the 8th annual New Talent Singing Awards
- Edwaard Liang, choreographer, ballet dancer with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and former soloist with New York City Ballet
- Elsie Leung, solicitor and Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong
- Gigi Leung, Hong Kong Cantopop singer and actress
- Fish Leong, Famous female singer
- Isabella Leong, actress and singer
- Jason Leung, Business Reporter/Anchor of OMNI.2, Toronto, Canada
- Katie Leung, actress
- Ken Leung, actor
- Lawrence Leung, comedian
- Lawrence Liang, lawyer
- Lei Liang, Chinese-born American composer
- Leung Jan, Wing Chun practitioner and Chinese herbal doctor from Foshan
- Leung Kwok-hung, Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
- Liang Guanglie, Minister of National Defense in the People's Republic of China and serves as a general in the People's Liberation Army of China
- Liang May Seen, first woman of Chinese descent to live in Minnesota
- Liang Qichao, scholar, philosopher, journalist and reformist
- Liang Shih-Chiu, (1903–1987), scholar and writer
- Liang Wengen, founder and main shareholder of Sany Group and one of the wealthiest men in China
- Tony Leung (Leung Chiu Wai), actor and singer
- Tony Leung (Leung Ka Fai), actor
- Liang Xiaosheng, novelist and screenwriter
- Luong Kim Dinh, (15 June 1914 - 25 March 1997) was a Vietnamese catholic priest, scholar and philosopher
- Kien Luong, professional hustler, England
- Kathleen Luong, Vietnamese American actress and model
- Luong Bich Huu, Vietnamese singer
- Luong Thuy Nga, (Tina), award winning choreographer
- Yang Yoseob (양요섭), a South Korean idol pop singer and dancer. He is the main vocalist of the Korean boy group Beast.