While westerners once used to be crazy about having Chinese characters tattooed on their bodies, ink parlours have observed a reversal of the trend off late.
Chinese tattoo makers have revealed that craze about tattoos in English is gradually increasing among their clients.
"Around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of our customers are choosing tattoos in English letters now. This has happened really suddenly, since the beginning of this year," the Telegraph quoted Zhang Aiping, a tattooist at Tattoo 108 in Shanghai, as saying.
"I just did one a few days ago for a footballer at Shanghai Shenhua club. It said: 'I miss u forever,'" Aiping added.
Chinese clients are said to be deriving inspiration from footballers like David Beckham and American basketball stars.
The reason why they are get motivated to choose English letters is simple - any foreign language is mysterious and exotic.
"We get 20 to 30 customers a month, and import our paint and needles from Europe," said Zhu Jian of 'Tattoo 007', who charges an average of 100 pounds per tattoo, the equivalent of a factory worker's monthly salary.
"We get mostly college students, but we have also had doctors, professors and bankers. Tattoos of letters have become very popular since last year, with around three out of ten people going for them. They are simple and graceful. Quite a few just copy the tattoo of their favourite stars, like Beckham or Angelina Jolie," he added.
Yang Enna, a 22-year-old television producer in Shanghai, said:
"English tattoos are just more special. They are very trendy and they say something about my personality.
She added: "They are much simpler compared to Chinese characters and can hold deep meanings. English letters can be used as acronyms so your privacy is protected and people are curious about what you have written on your arms. If I had tattoos in Chinese, everyone would immediately know what they meant."