Wang Shenzhi’s older brother Wang Chao was given the title of Surveillance Commissioner in 892. Wang Shenzhi himself was named military commissioner, and in 909, in the wake of the collapse of the Tang Dynasty two years earlier, named himself the Prince of Min. Wang Shenzhi’s son declared himself the Emperor of Min in 933. At that point, his father was posthumously named Min Taizu.
The early Chinese exonymMin (閩) was a graphic pejorative written with Radical 142虫, the "insect" or "reptile" radical. Xu Shen's (c. 121 CE) Shuowen Jiezi dictionary defines min as: "Southeastern Yue [i.e., Viet]; snake race. [The character is formed] from [the] insect / serpent [radical and takes its pronunciation from] mén.
The territory of the Min was relatively isolated and rugged, thus not as economically prosperous as other regions of the Chinese realm. The Min court attempted to attract scholars that would assist in constructing an effective bureaucratic and tax system to bring the kingdom up to contemporary standards. Maritime trade developed over this period of time. This would set the stage for a successful regional maritime trade that could continue during future Chinese dynasties.
In 943, one of Wang Shenzhi’s sons rebelled and declared independence from the Min in the northwest of the territory of the kingdom, proclaiming the Yin dynasty. The Min court asked the Southern Tang for assistance in quelling the rebellion in Yin. Rather than assisting the Min government, the Southern Tang came in and absorbed the territory into its own holdings.
Seeing the threat posed by the Southern Tang, the Min court declared its allegiance to the Wuyue kingdom to its north. However, this did not stop the Southern Tang from marching in and incorporating the remainder of the Min Kingdom into its holdings in 945