Nick Teo Changed His Chinese Name ’Cos He Was Sad People Could Recognise Him But Struggled To Say His Name

Nick Teo, 32, wants everyone to know that he’s now known as Zhang Yikai (), instead of Zhang Junyu (鈞淯), which according to the Mediacorp actor, was a mouthful.

In fact, the name Junyu was such a tongue twister even Nick himself had trouble saying it at times.

Unlike Ian Fang, who announced last week that he was reverting to his original Chinese name as he was seeking a, um, “reinicarnation” of sorts, Nick says he changed his name solely because he wanted something that was easier for others to pronounce.

When 8days.sg caught up with Nick, who is currently shooting Mediacorp drama Soul Detective, over voice messages earlier this week, he explains why a name change was necessary eight years into his acting career.

“All along there had been people who [told me] my Chinese name is not easy to read, say and remember. But I did not really put it to heart. Until recently, a lot of the people I see on the streets would come up to me saying they know me, but did not know my name. I found it disheartening,” Nick says.

He then recalls how the original plan was to just change his social media handles to his Chinese name but they eventually decided on changing his name altogether.

According to Nick, many people, including colleagues he worked with had no idea what his Chinese name was. Thus, he chose Yikai as his new name as “Yi sounds like the number one [in Mandarin] and Kai is quite commonly used [in Chinese names]”. 

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