In 221 BCE, as King of the Qin, he conquered all of the other kingdoms, ending the Warring States period and reuniting China for the first time in six centuries. With his victory, he inaugurated the first Empire of China. During his reign, the Templars assisted Qin Shi Huang with political and economic reforms, as well as constructions such as the Great Wall of China.
- The name Qín Shǐ Huángdì (秦始皇帝) literally means "First Emperor of the Qin". Yíng Zhèng had adopted the name after envisioning that his dynasty would last thousands of years—proven false when his dynasty ended with his son, with each emperor named according to their generation. He had invented the new title huángdì (皇帝) by conjoining two titles of legendary sage-kings in China's tribal era, conceptualizing that a huángdì would be superior in authority to all previous kings. It therefore became the Chinese word for "emperor", used by all monarchs for the rest of its history.
- His birth name is known either as Yíng Zhèng (嬴政) or Zhào Zhèng (趙政). Yíng (嬴) is his ancestral name and Zhào (趙) is his clan name. Later Chinese history saw ancestral names and clan names becoming identical, causing confusion over which of his surnames to refer to him by. Yíng (嬴) means "to win" while Zhào (趙) was the name of an ancient Chinese state—coincidentally one of those he conquered. His personal name, Zhèng (政) means "politics" or "government".