The surname Li comes from the Yellow Emperor. The ancestor of the surname Li is Gao Tao, a descendant of the grandson of the Yellow Emperor. Li is the second largest surname in China, with a population of more than 87 million. Most people live in the north of China, ranking fifth in Taiwan. In Chinese history, there are more than 60 people named emperor and king by the surname Li. They have successively established regimes such as Dacheng, Xiliang, Liang, Wu, Wei, Tang, Chu, later Tang, Southern Tang, Shu, Xixia and Dashun.
The origin of the surname Li is quite complex. According to legend, the surname Li comes from the Yellow Emperor. The ancestor of the surname Li is Gao Tao, a descendant of the grandson of the Yellow Emperor. When Yao became emperor, Gao Tao once served as "Dali", was in charge of justice, and presided over the formulation of five punishments, known as "five punishments" in history. The descendants of gaotao inherited his position and experienced three dynasties: Yu, Xia and Shang. They took the official position as their surname and were called "Li". Until the end of the Shang Dynasty, his descendants, a noble named Lizheng, were persecuted to death by King Zhou. His wife Qihe and his son Li Lizhen fled to the ruins of the Yihou. Because he hid under a plum tree on the way to escape and satisfied his hunger with plums, he was able to save his life, so he changed his surname to "Li".
Because the ancestor of gaotao was the Ying surname, the Li surname came from the Ying surname. In the pre Qin period, the development of the surname Li was relatively slow and had no great influence. After entering the Wei and Jin Dynasties, Li gradually developed into one of the five county surnames in the Central Plains at that time.