SOURCE: Baidu

Baidu

January 27, 2017 10:00 ET

Facemoji Keyboard Proposes Three Culturally Relevant Chinese Emoji to Unicode Consortium

In celebration of Chinese New Year 2017, Baidu's keyboard app has submitted three unique Chinese holiday-themed emoji for inclusion in the worldwide Unicode Standard

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Jan 27, 2017) - Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) -- Popular keyboard app Facemoji Keyboard has announced that it will ring in Chinese New Year 2017 with three completely new emoji celebrating Chinese culture and tradition, as well as an in-app emoji guessing game for users. The new emoji include a red envelope (hóng bāo), a firecracker (biān pào) and a moon cake (yuè bĭng), and were designed by the Facemoji Keyboard team and submitted to the Unicode Consortium in a bid for inclusion in the worldwide Unicode Standard.

The emoji proposals were scheduled for review by the Unicode Technical Committee, which oversees official emoji, during the last week of January. If the three proposals are accepted as candidate emoji, the earliest they could be part of the Unicode Standard is June 2018, with availability on platforms later that year.

Until the three emoji become official, Facemoji Keyboard is making them available in its in-app Chinese New Year game, which will challenge users on their emoji know-how and skill.

Head of Baidu's Facemoji Keyboard and Simeji Keyboard Mr. Jiang Feng said that the Unicode Consortium, which coordinates the emoji dictionary across nearly all smartphone and computer platforms worldwide, would benefit from including one of the world's most widely celebrated holidays in its standard. "More than 1.3 billion people all over the world celebrate Chinese New Year," said Jiang. "We designed three fun emoji that are culturally significant and aren't yet part of the standard emoji set. A red envelope is a traditional gift, and we light firecrackers to celebrate the new year. A moon cake is a seasonal dessert that's shared with friends and family during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival," he said.

The proposal was co-authored by Jennifer 8. Lee, who co-founded Emojination with Yiying Lu to make the emoji process more inclusive. Emojination's motto is "Emoji by the people, for the people." This is the first instance that the group has coordinated with a company on a proposal.

Emoji diversity has recently been a point of discussion amongst academicians and the greater public. In 2015, outcry over the lack of racially diverse emoji prompted the Unicode Consortium to expand their emoji database to include six different skin tones, same-sex couples and various cultural clothing, cuisine and symbols.

Facemoji Keyboard users can now get a sneak peek at the three new emoji by playing the Chinese New Year emoji guessing game, which launched in-app on January 24, 2017. To download Facemoji Keyboard for free and play the game, visit the Google Play Store at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simejikeyboard and follow the app on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/FacemojiKeyboard.

About Facemoji Keyboard
Facemoji Keyboard is the international version of Japan's "Simeji Keyboard," which has reached over 25 million downloads in Japan since 2009. In 2016, Facemoji Keyboard debuted in the U.S. with the goal of bringing more fun, creative emoji to people around the globe. Facemoji Keyboard incorporates smart emoji prediction technology and includes a wide variety of emoji stickers and keyboard personalization options.

About Emojination
Emojination was founded by Jennifer 8. Lee and Yiying Lu to make the emoji process more inclusive. Its motto is "Emoji by the people, for the people." It has collaborated on the hijab emoji, dumpling emoji, among others. It hosted Emojicon in San Francisco in November 2016.

About Baidu
Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. As a technology-based media company, Baidu aims to provide the best and most equitable way for people to find what they're looking for. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, Baidu provides an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers. Baidu's ADSs trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU". Currently, ten ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share.

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