GB18030: The Chinese standard

GB 18030-2000 is a Chinese standard that specifies an extended code page for use in the Chinese market.

The IBM® i operating system supports this encoding with CCSID 1392. Generally, you should use Unicode instead of CCSID 1392 for complete national language support. CCSID 1392 is provided if you need to handle or interchange GB18030 encoded data.

A brief history of major GB code pages

A common base code page standard for Chinese is GB 2312-1980. It encodes more than 6000 frequently used Chinese ideographs. With the growing importance of Unicode and the parallel standard ISO 10646 (which was adopted by China as GB 13000), an extension of GB 2312-1980 was created. This extension was called GBK; it encoded all 20 902 unified ideographs that are assigned in Unicode 2.1. GBK is not a formal standard, but is a widely implemented specification.

Unicode 3.0 added more than 6000 ideographs, and version 3.1 added about 42 000 additional ideographs.

GB 18030 was created as an update of GBK for Unicode 3.0 with an extension that covers all of Unicode. It has the following general features:

  • GB 18030 character assignments are compatible with the GB 2312-1980 standard and the GBK specification.
  • The mapping table between GB 18030 and Unicode is compatible with the one between GB 2312-1980 and Unicode. With some exceptions (with the one between GBK and Unicode), most of the changes compared to the GBK mapping table are due to updates for Unicode 3.0.
  • GB 18030 specifies a mapping table that covers all Unicode code points. It is functionally similar to a UTF (Unicode Transformation Format) while maintaining compatibility of GB-encoded text with GBK and GB 2312-1980.