Chen Jie is Shanghai's John Smith

Sept. 14, 2006 at 2:07 PM

SHANGHAI, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A Chinese statistical agency says almost 4,000 people in Shanghai have the name Chen Jie, making it the problematic equivalent to John Smith.

The name Jie means cleanliness, and is growing in popularity among parents naming their children, the Shanghai Daily reported Thursday.

The Identity Card Number Query Center said 3,937 people in Shanghai shared the name Chen Jie, beating out Zhang Min, with 3,751.

Min is the Chinese term for "swift and smart, the newspaper said.

However, there are almost 900,000 Zhangs with different first names, the report said.

Wang Daliang, director of the name research center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the newspaper so many people with the same name play havoc with social services in the country.

Things are even worse in Beijing, the research center said, as 10.3 percent of its 15 million residents are surnamed Wang.

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