Chinese Wikipedia

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Favicon of Wikipedia Chinese Wikipedia
中文維基百科 / 中文维基百科
Web address
Slogan 海納百川,有容乃大
Commercial? No
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Registration Optional
Available in Written vernacular Chinese
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Chinese Wikipedia
Traditional Chinese 中文維基百科
Simplified Chinese 中文维基百科
Literal meaning Chinese-script Wiki-encyclopedia

The Chinese Wikipedia (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhōngwén Wéijī Bǎikē) is the (Standard) Chinese language edition of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. Started in October 2002, the Chinese Wikipedia currently has about 863,000 articles and about 499,000 registered users.

The Chinese Wikipedia is the fourth largest online Chinese encyclopedia after Hudong Baike (互动百科), Baidu Baike (百度百科) and Soso Baike (搜搜百科).[citation needed]


The Chinese Wikipedia was established along with 12 other Wikipedias in May 2001. At the beginning, however, the Chinese Wikipedia did not support Chinese characters, and had no encyclopedic content.

In October 2002, the first Chinese-language page was written, the Main Page. A software update on October 27, 2002 allowed Chinese language input. The domain was set to be On November 17, 2002, the user Mountain translated the Computer science article into zh:计算机科学, thus creating its first real encyclopedic article.

In order to accommodate the orthographic differences between simplified Chinese characters and traditional Chinese characters (or Orthodox Chinese), from 2002 to 2003, the Chinese Wikipedia community gradually decided to combine the two originally separate versions of the Chinese Wikipedia. The first running automatic conversion between the two orthographic representations started on December 23, 2004, with the MediaWiki 1.4 release. The needs from Hong Kong and Singapore were taken into account in the MediaWiki 1.4.2 release, which made the conversion table for zh-sg default to zh-cn, and zh-hk default to zh-tw.[1]

In its early days, most articles on the Chinese Wikipedia were translated from the English version. The first five sysops, or administrators, were promoted on June 14, 2003.

Wikipedia was first introduced by the mainland Chinese media[citation needed] in the newspaper China Computer Education (中国电脑教育报) on October 20, 2003, in the article, "I join to write an encyclopedia" (我也来写百科全书).[2] On May 16, 2004, Wikipedia was first reported by Taiwanese media in the newspaper China Times. Since then, many newspapers have published articles about the Chinese Wikipedia, and several sysops have been interviewed by journalists.

Ivan Zhai of the South China Morning Post wrote that the blocks from the Mainland authorities in the 2000s stifled the growth of the Chinese Wikipedia, and that by 2013 there was a new generation of users originating from the Mainland who were taking efforts to make the Chinese Wikipedia grow. In 2013, there were 1.4 million registered users on the Chinese Wikipedia, and in July 2013 7,500 of these users were active, with most of them originating from Hong Kong and Taiwan. 715,000 entries for the Chinese Wikipedia, making it the 12th largest Wikipedia.[3]


The Chinese name of Wikipedia was decided on October 21, 2003, following a vote. The name (simplified Chinese: 维基百科; traditional Chinese: 維基百科; pinyin: Wéijī Bǎikē) means "Wiki Encyclopedia". The Chinese transcription of "Wiki" is composed of two characters: 維/维, whose ancient sense refers to 'ropes or webs connecting objects', and alludes to the 'Internet'; and 基, meaning the 'foundations of a building', or 'fundamental aspects of things in general'. The name can be interpreted as 'the encyclopedia that connects the fundamental knowledge of humanity'.

The most common Chinese translation for wiki technology is 維基/维基; however, it can be 維客/维客 (literally "dimension visitor" or similar) or 圍紀/围纪 (literally "circle/enclose period/record" or similar), which are also transcriptions of the word "wiki". As a result, the term 維基/维基 has become associated exclusively with Wikimedia projects.[4]

The Chinese Wikipedia also has a subtitle: 海納百川,有容乃大/海纳百川,有容乃大. It means, "The sea encompasses a hundred rivers; it has capacity i.e. is willing to accept all and is thus great." The subtitle is the first half of a couplet composed by the Qing Dynasty official Lin Zexu.