For sorting purposes and consistency all the names in the IMDb are stored in
"lastname, firstname" format within the database itself. For example:
Mel Gibson is stored as Gibson, Mel
Paul Newman is stored as Newman, Paul
James Earl Jones is stored as Jones, James Earl
When displaying filmographies and film credits, the names are converted to
the more common/clearer "First Last" format (i.e. Cruise, Tom is shown as Tom
The Chinese however write their names putting the family name first. In Chow Yun-Fat's case, for example, Chow is the family name (like "Smith") and Yun-Fat is the
first name (like "John").
Therefore, according to the rule above, the name is stored in the IMDb as
and displayed in film credits as Yun-Fat Chow
By the way, a case like the above is easy to determine because there's a
dash in the name, which typically identifies the first name.
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