Re: Unicode not approved by China

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 22:53:13 EST

Bjorn Stabell reported:

> According to this news item (in Chinese), China rejected HK's
> application to use Unicode, and instead says they have to use
> ISO 10646-1:2000 or GB18030. Apparently they don't like to
> standardize on a standard controlled by an organization of
> commercial companies, like Unicode.

This is not an uncommon reaction among officious organizations
that think only ISO or governments can create reliable, open

It is the basic reason why the Unicode Consortium goes to
such lengths to guarantee that the Unicode Standard is
*exactly* aligned with ISO 10646 (as noted repeatedly in
the standard itself and on the Unicode website).

> This is confusing. Nobody implements ISO 10646-1:2000 as
> such, they just implement Unicode, right?


> I thought the two
> standards were equivalent?

They are. And we went the extra mile with JTC1/SC2/WG2 to ensure
that ISO 10646-1:2000 and the Unicode Standard, Version 3.0, were
not only equivalent, but also published more or less simultaneously,
with the same publication year.

The charts and name lists for the two standards were even driven
off the same data sources and using the same suite of fonts, to
guarantee synchronization.

> We're using Unicode because of
> practical reasons, because there's a lot of applications supporting
> it and it solves the character set problem. What do you suggest
> we do, being based in Beijing, China?

Implement 10646-1:2000 and tell the government of China that that
is what you are doing.

Of course, in order to implement 10646-1:2000, you will need an
extensive set of guidelines on implementation issues. And I guess
you know where to look for those.

> In December, the Chinese will go to Taiwan to try to settle on a
> common encoding.


--Ken Whistler

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