Chinese character input standard for mobile phone advocated

Updated: 2006-10-23 15:07

China's Ministry of Information Industry is calling for the development of a made-in-China standard for inputting Chinese characters for short messages.

The ministry has solicited opinions from dozens of cellular phone producers and related enterprises such as the Motorola, China Mobile and China Unicom on the new standard.

Ninety percent of the Chinese character input standards for mobile phone are copyrighted by foreign companies, said Wang Lijian, secretary general of the National Information Technology Standardization Technical Committee. This means China pays millions of dollars every year in royalty fees for the use of the input standard, Wang said.

Statistics show that China has more than 400 million mobile phone users. Some 303 million mobile phones were produced in China in 2005.

Chinese companies have developed their own in-put software but they have found it difficult to enter the market, Wang said.

Mobile phone producers are often reluctant to change partners, Wang said.

Yet Chinese character input technologies developed by foreign companies are not meeting the demand of Chinese market, Gao Jingjian, head of the National Work Group on Standards of Chinese Input Technology.

Most of foreign companies use the old Chinese character standard issued in 1980, which included only 6,763 Chinese characters. However, the new standard includes more than 27,000 Chinese characters, Gao said.

Wang Lijian said the new input standard advocated by the Ministry of Information Industry was developed by a company in south China's Guangdong Province.

The standard has been used by some domestic mobile phone producers such as Konka, Gionee and TCL and end users have responded well to the input technology, Wang said. He said the ministry is soliciting advice from more enterprises.

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