2016-03-20elementary

What Emoticons are Popular in China?

Do you use emoticons when you chat with your friends online? What emoticon do you like to use the most?
Emoticon in Chinese is called 表情符号 [biǎo qíng fú hào], or just 表情 [biǎo qíng] for short. You can ask your Chinese friends like this:

Hover over any word to show translation
you (informal)
zài
(located) at, (to be) in
wǎng shàng
网上
網上
online
with, together with
péng you
朋友
朋友
friend
liáo tiān
聊天
聊天
to chat, to gossip
de
(used after an attribute)
shí hou
时候
時候
time
 
xǐ huan
喜欢
喜歡
to like, to be fond of
shǐ yòng
使用
使用
to use, to employ
biǎo qíng
表情
表情
(facial) expression, emoticon
ma
(question particle for "yes-no" questions)
 
you (informal)
zuì
the most
xǐ huan
喜欢
喜歡
to like, to be fond of
shǐ yòng
使用
使用
to use, to employ
de
(used after an attribute)
biǎo qíng
表情
表情
(facial) expression, emoticon
shì
is, are
shén me
什么
什麼
what
ne
particle indicating that a previously asked question is to be applied to the preceding word ("What about ...?", "And ...?")
 

Do you like to use emoticons when you chat with your friends online? What emoticon do you like to use the most?

Character set
Pinyin

Recently, China's biggest social network website Tencent QQ published 2015 year's emoticon usage statistics. Let's take a look at what emoticons Chinese netizens like to use.

Popular emoticons in China

  • No.1 呲牙/龇牙 [zī yá] - Grinning Face
    The grinning face emoticon symbolizes “courteous” or “cute”, and is commonly used by netizens around the country for greeting each other.

  • No.2 愤怒 [fèn nù] - Angry Face
    The angry face is popular among young users, and is reportedly used the most frequently on September 1st. This is because that is the day when Chinese school starts after summer vacation. Everyone wants to keep having summer vacation and not go to back school.

  • No.3 亲亲 [qīn qīn] - Kissing Face
    As you might guess, the kissing face is the favorite emoticon for couples.

  • No.4 偷笑 [tōu xiào] - Chuckle Face

  • No.5 敲打 [qiāo dǎ] - Punching Face

  • No.6 可怜 [kě lián] - Pitiful Face

  • No.7 抠鼻 [kōu bí] - Nose Picking
    The nose picking emoticon symbolizes “bored”, “indifferent”, or “disagreeing”. Some netizens claim that this usage data is inaccurate and that the nose picking emoticon is actually the one most used by Chinese netizens. Of course, many netizens also think the nose picking emoticon is disgusting and do not like to use it.

  • No.8 发呆 [fā dāi] - Absent-Minded Face

  • No.9 再见 [zài jiàn] - Goodbye Face

  • No.10 吓 [xià] - Scary Face

According to the gender difference data, boys are more likely to use the 骚 [sāo](acting cool)emoticon, while girls like to use 萌 [méng](cute, Moe).

Emoticon usage statistics

There is also a set of very popular chat stamps which use the two characters Lilei and Hanmeimei “李雷和韩梅梅 [lǐ léi hé hán méi méi]. Lilei and Hanmeimei are characters from the junior high school English textbook in China, so the Chinese are very familiar with them.

Lilei and Hanmeimei

These stamps contain funny phrases with deliberately mistaken translations and Chinglish. For example, 不要熬夜 [bú yào áo yè] (Do not stay up late)is translated into “Do not Oh Yeah” because 熬夜 in Chinese sounds similar to the English “Oh Yeah”.

Did you enjoy these Chinese emoticons?