W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > April to June 2003

Why is UTF8 not being taken up in Asia Pacific for Public Website s?

From: LUNDER,BEN (HP-Australia,ex3) <ben.lunder@hp.com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 06:42:32 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-international@w3.org

Hello all,

I was doing a little research into the possibility of presenting some of our
North Asian sites in UTF8 and was wondering why UTF8 is not widely used in
China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan for encoding of webpages.

Almost all the commercial websites I have found with the exception of a few
use the following encodings
China = gb2312
Korea = euc_kr
Japan = shift_jis
Taiwan = big5

Here is an example of some of my findings for usage of encodings on Public
|Org.     |China |Taiwan| Japan     |Korea |
|Epson    |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Samsung  |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Canon    |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Sony     |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|IBM      |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Dell     |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Kyocera  |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Lexmark  |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|Sun      |gb2312| Big5 |ISO-2022-jp|Euc_kr|
|Toshiba  |gb2312| Big5 |Shift_JIS  |Euc_kr|
|google   |utf-8 | utf-8|utf-8      |utf-8 |*
*google does not have a china website but you can search for simplified
Chinese pages

Do you know why utf8 has not been taken up more quickly?

I suspect it is because of difficulties with configuring
older browsers to support UTF8 but
I have not found specific recent evidence to support this suspicion.  To the
contrary, major browsers have been officially supporting UTF8 for some time.

I also suspect that there may be hard to find information about known issues
browsers when pages are encoded as UTF8 and the language is Traditional
Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  I have found some
on this mailing list relating to problems with Japanese and UTF-8 but not
languages.  If UTF8 supports all
the characters in the gb2312,euc_kr,shift_jis and Big5 encoding schemes then
why is UTF8 not being used more generally throughout Asia?

If you know of a source(s) of information which answers my query I would be
most appreciative.

Kind regards,

Benjamin Lunder
Received on Friday, 16 May 2003 06:44:54 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 21 September 2016 22:37:22 UTC