Taipei resident offers NT$10,000 award for a name

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A Taipei resident is offering NT$10,000 to anybody in the city who shares his name so that he may assume a new one. Changing names isn’t difficult — ordinarily. But Cheng Hui-kai has changed his once too many. Born Cheng Chang-chung, the man swapped his name for Cheng Kun-lien six years ago, citing “special reasons.” Since then, Cheng has registered for another name using the same reason, this time known as Cheng Hui-kai. Cheng recently felt another need for change, but when he visited the Taipei domiciliary office a few days ago, he found his name-change quota depleted.

According to the domiciliary registration law, Taiwan residents may only change names twice under the “special reason” clause. Cheng’s only recourse is to provide proof of a namesake who also resides in Taipei. Cheng Hui-kai is currently running a newspaper ad looking for an identical “Cheng Hui-kai” in Taipei. Once the namesake is identified, there will be a 6-month waiting period to ensure the namesake does not change his name, after which Cheng Hui-kai will be free to once again register a new name.