Intriguing aside in this Slate article by Huan Hsu on office workers in China adopting English names:
In the United States, people tend to view names and identities as absolute thingswhich explains why I agonized over deciding on an English namebut in China, identities are more amorphous. My friend Sophie flits amongst her Chinese name, English name, MSN screen name, nicknames she uses with her friends, and diminutives that her parents call her. "They're all me," she says. "A name is just a dai hao." Dai hao, or code name, can also refer to a stock's ticker symbol.