Zhu (surname)

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For other uses, see Zhu (disambiguation).
Family name
Meaning Vermillion; named after the ancient State of Zhu (邾)
Related names Zou (邹)

Zhu[nb 1] is the pinyin romanization of four Chinese surnames: , , , and . It is spelled Chu in the Wade-Giles romanization system mainly used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

The most common of the four, 朱, was the surname of the Ming Dynasty emperors. Today it is the 13th most common surname in the People's Republic of China,[2] with a population of over fifteen million.[3]

Origin and distribution[edit]

The Zhu (朱) family originated from the minor state of Zhu (邾, later renamed Zou) (p. 43, Chao) in present-day southwestern Shandong Province. King Wu of Zhou granted Cao Xie, an alleged descendant of the Yellow Emperor through his grandson Zhuanxu, control over the small state. He was a vassal ruler under the Lu (state) (魯) and held the feudal title Viscount (子), but later held the title Duke of Zhu (邾公) during the Spring and Autumn period. (p. 138, Li Chi; p. 239, Tan & p. 306, Wu).

The ancestral surname (姓) of the ruling family was Cao. (p. 144, Li Xueqin). The state of Zou was conquered and annexed by the state of Chu during the reign of King Xuan of Chu (楚宣王) (369–340 BC). (p. 43, Chao). The ruling family and its descendants adopted Zhu (朱) as their surname in memory of their former state of Zhu (邾). (p. 43, Chao & p. 239, Tan).

During the Ming Dynasty, some Zhus moved to Taiwan, and others later migrated to Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. The clan is also found in Korea and is known as: 주 (朱; Ju, Joo); it is the 32nd most common name in Korea though it is combined with the Zhou (周) surname.[4]

Zhu has been one of the most influential clans in Chinese history. Zhu (朱) is technically a branch of the Cao (曹) surname, but now surpasses the parent ranking 13th and 27th respectively in terms of population size. [1]

Notable people surnamed 朱[edit]

Historical figures[edit]

Government, Politics and Military[edit]

Philosophy and Religion[edit]


Science and Technology[edit]


  • David Chu, Taiwanese-American founder of Nautica, men's designer outerwear company
  • Zhu Baoguo, Chinese billionaire founder of Joincare Pharmaceutical Group Industrial
  • Zhu Gongshan, Chinese billionaire founder of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited, an energy supplier in China
  • Zhu Huiming, Chinese billionaire founder of Hangzhou Binjiang Real Estate Group
  • Zhu Jun (businessman), Chinese industrialist and businessman; Chairman of Nasdaq listed company, the Nine City (NASDAQ: NCTY); also chairman of the Shanghai Shenhua football club.
  • Zhu Mengyi (朱孟依), Chairman of Guangdong Zhujiang Invest, Hopson Development
  • Zhu Xingliang, Chinese billionaire founder of Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration
  • Zhu Xinli, Chinese multi-millionaire founder and chairman of China Huiyuan Juice Group
  • Zhu Yicai, Chinese billionaire founder and chairman of China Yurun Group
  • Zhu Yunlai, CEO of China International Capital Corp; he is the son of Zhu Rongji, former Premier of the People's Republic of China, and a direct descendant of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
  • Abehymann Zhu, Managing Director of APX World Logistics Inc., a Shanghai-based 3PL provider formed in July 1993

Sports and Entertainment[edit]




  1. ^ The approximate pronunciation in English is //.[1]


  1. ^ "Pronunciation of Zhu". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  2. ^ http://zhongwen.com/xingshi.htm
  3. ^ "中国最新300大姓排名(2008 [Statistics on the number of citizens with each surname in China, based on records of National Identity Cards]." 2009-01-06. Accessed 20 Jun 2015.(Chinese)
  4. ^ List of common Korean surnames

External links[edit]