This article examines the meaning of the titles bestowed on the Kazakh sultans by the Qing Empire. According to the Chinese and Russian sources, it turned out that the function of titles, connected with the ceremony of succession, consisted of giving Kazakh sultans authority over the Kazakh society. Next, the paper sheds light on the fact that ‘Ubayd-Allah Sultan, the grandson of popular Ablai Khan of the Middle Horde, could not obtain the Qing title “han” in 1824. The circumstances of the incident and, especially, the ruler’s excusing report to Qing officers show that since he had swore his subjection to the Russian Emperor and become the agha-sultan (Rus. starshii sultan, lit. “elder ruler”) under Russian jurisdiction, he could not act against the Russian law, and was obliged to refuse the succession of the title by Qing authorities. Realising that Qing titles were similar to the Kazakh traditional title of khan, Russian regional authorities did not approve ‘Ubayd-Allah’s claim to the title han, henceforth needless.