In many East Asian cultures, including China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, the number four is steeped in superstition. This fear of the number four, or tetraphobia, holds so much power that many buildings skip the fourth floor, much like how some Western buildings omit the 13th.
In Beijing, vehicle license plates avoid the number four, and in Singapore, the Alfa Romeo model 144 had to undergo a name change because potential buyers were too superstitious to purchase it. Even global brands like Nokia steer clear of starting their phone models with this number.
The root of this fear lies in linguistics. In Chinese, the word for the number four sounds eerily similar to the word for death. This phonetic resemblance isn't limited to just one culture. In Japan and Korea, the words for four and death are identical. In Japan, the number 49 is particularly dreaded as it sounds like the phrase "pain until death." [sources: Times of India, Today I Found Out].