Chinese Websites Character Encoding Survey, Year 2012

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

2022-10-23 update: Chinese Websites Encoding survey, Year 2022

This page is a survey of encoding used by top Asian websites.

Asian Sites


Global top sites serving Chinese (these are mainland China sites)

SiteName, DescriptionEncodingRank 百度 (search)UTF-8 (GB2312 front page)#5 腾讯 (portal)GB2312#9 淘宝 (shopping)GBK#14 新浪新闻 (portal)GB2312#16 网易 (portal)GB2312#28 新浪微博 (microblog)UTF-8#30 搜搜 (search)GB2312#33 搜狐网 (search)GBK#36 土豆网 (video)GBK#54 优酷 (video)UTF-8#55

All ranking are global ranking, from, as of 2012-08-08.

In 2005, Yahoo China was using GB2312 encoding. In they use UTF-8. As of , yahoo closed the and and redirect to

Taiwan, Hong Kong

Most popular Chinese sites in Taiwan (traditional chars):

SiteName, DescriptionEncodingRank Yahoo! Taiwan 雅虎奇摩UTF-8#4 無名小站 (Photo Blog, from Yahoo!)UTF-8#438 痞客邦 (photo blog)UTF-8#720 伊莉心情車站 (entertainment, movies, forum)UTF-8#938 巴哈姆特電玩資訊站 (gaming)UTF-8#985 (home computing)UTF-8#1132 聯合新聞網 (news)BIG5#979 yam天空,蕃薯藤 (portal)UTF-8#1080

Note: many top sites for Hong Kong are the same as mainlaind China, typically video sites.

Note: ranking are by domain. For example, “” is globally ranked 4, but that ranking is for the whole domain “”, not just the subdomain “”.

Japan Sites

SiteName, DescriptionEncodingRank, web hosting, etc)UTF-8#53楽天市場 (shopping)EUC-JP, UTF-8#74 #106; portal)UTF-8, EUC-JP#146

Many Japan sites seem to use both UTF-8 and EUC-JP. Home page uses one, but many pages uses the other.

South Korea Sites

SiteName, DescriptionEncodingRank
www.daum.net다음daum (portal)UTF-8#308
www.nate.comSKT의 유·무선 종합 포털 (portal)EUC-KR#1068

Note: many top sites for South Korea are the same as mainland China.

India Sites

Top 200 sites in India are all English. Vast majority are just normal USA sites, for example, Yahoo, Twitter, MSN, etc. (Note: the official language for India is English and Hindi, but English is practically the language for all business and science.)

Intro to Chinese Encoding


Taiwan sites almost all use UTF-8. Very old ones still use BIG5.

Mainland China sites mostly still use GBK or GB2312, but a few newer ones use UTF-8.

Many top Japan, Korea, sites also use UTF-8, but some uses EUC (Extended Unix Code) variants.

This probably means that UTF-8 might dominate in the future.