Your top 10
Ok - so you've given me more than a hundred names to think about! Politicians, singers, writers, dissidents, separatists, entrepreneurs, scientists, comedians, writers, doctors, sportspeople.
I've gone through all of your suggestions and have come up with the list below. I stress that this is deeply unscientific and probably quite arbitrary. I've tried to make it more a list of the 10 Chinese people you should know about - as opposed to the 10 most famous people from China.
Here are the 10 names (in no particular order)...
Hu Jintao - politician. China's president. Hu Jintao rules over more people - 1.3bn - than any single person has ever done in the history of the world. He'll be in charge of China for another five years (he's expected to be succeeded by another man you might want to remember - Xi Jinping).
Wen Jiabao - politician. China's premier. Took the lead in the response to the recent earthquake. A very popular man in China and a fascinating figure. He worked with reformers in the 1980s - and survived the political purges after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989.
Yao Ming - basketball player. Probably the most immediately recognisable Chinese person alive (mostly because he is 7ft 6in). Yao Ming plays basketball for the Houston Rockets of the NBA. Expect him to play a major role in the Olympics (he may even be the athlete who lights the flame to mark the start of the games).
Liu Xiang - athlete. China's great hope for this summer's Olympic Games. The entire country expects him to do what he did in Athens 2004 - win the gold in the 110m hurdles. If he does, he can probably get the country renamed after him.
Yuan Longping - scientist. In the 1970s he developed a hybrid rice that has since had a huge effect on world food supplies. This super rice has a higher yield than normal rice - the extra yield has been able to feed tens of millions of people.
Yang Liwei - astronaut. In 2003, he became China's first man into space. I've picked him not necessarily because he's famous, but because he represents the kind of ambition that China has for its future.
Li Ning - sportsman and entrepreneur. He won three gold medals as a gymnast at the 1984 Olympics and then founded his own sportswear company. Wherever you go in China, you see people wearing clothes bearing the distinctive Li Ning signature.
Zhang Ziyi - actress. Star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha. Fierce debates here as to whether she should have been picked over Gong Li. But my colleagues suggest Zhang Ziyi just shades it.
Li Jiacheng - businessman. The richest Chinese person in the world (Forbes ranks him the 11th richest person in the world.) Thought to be worth more than $26bn, his business interests include banking, real estate, construction, plastics etc
Zhang Yimou - film director. Directed films such as Raise the Red Lantern, and House of Flying Daggers. One of the most influential figures in the world of Chinese cinema. For this reason he beats out more famous cinematic figures such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
That's the list. Not definitive by any means - but I've picked the names entirely from your suggestions.
There is one more person that many of you have come up with - a man who is more famous in the UK than everyone else on this list combined. I'll let penguish have the final word: "If China is claiming Tibet as its own, then the Dalai Lama is certainly the most famous Chinese person alive!"