Chinese Character String with GB18030 Encoding Error

This section provides a tutorial example showing a Chinese Web page generated by PHP using GB18030 encoding. But the page displays Chinese characters as garbled text.

Chinese character strings should use UTF-8 encoding. But for some reason, if you have to use GB18030 encoding for your Chinese character strings, you can use PHP string as binary strings to store Chinese character strings in GB18030 encoding. In order to output Chinese characters to Web pages and display them correctly, you need to:

Here is a simple test I did on my local system:

1. Run my Chinese text editor that supports GB18030 encoding.

2. Enter the following PHP script file:

<?php 
#- String-GB18030.php
#- Copyright (c) 2005 HerongYang.com, All Rights Reserved.
#
  $help = '?????????????';
  print('<html>');
  print('<meta http-equiv="Content-Type"'.
    ' content="text/html; charset=gb18030"/>');
  print('<body>');
  print('<b>Chinese string in GB18030 in PHP</b><br/>');
  print($help.'<br/>');
  print('</body>');
  print('</html>');
?>

You see some question marks (?) in the source code listed above, because this book uses UTF-8 encoding. GB18030 encoded characters can not be included here.

3. Save the as String-GB18030.php in GB18030 encoding. On my Chinese text editor, I had to select "GB text file" as the "Save as type" to ensure my document was saved in GB18030 encoding. Like many other Chinese text editors, it supports multiple encodings. If you are not careful, the document could be saved with a wrong encoding.

4. Copy String-GB18030.php to \local\apache\htdocs.

5. Now run Internet Explorer (IE) with http://localhost/String-GB18030.php. But surprisingly, Chinese characters are displayed incorrectly as garbled text:

Chinese Web Page Generated by PHP using GB18030 in Error
Chinese Web Page Generated by PHP using GB18030 in Error

See the next tutorial on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Last update: 2019.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 PHP Installation on Windows Systems

 Integrating PHP with Apache Web Server

 charset="*" - Encodings on Chinese Web Pages

Chinese Characters in PHP String Literals

 String Data Type, Literals and Functions

 String Literal Travel Path

 Chinese Character String with UTF-8 Encoding

Chinese Character String with GB18030 Encoding Error

 Chinese Character String with GB18030 Encoding

 Chinese Character String with Big5 Encoding

 UTF-8 Encoding Pages with Big5 Characters

 Multibyte String Functions in UTF-8 Encoding

 Input Text Data from Web Forms

 Input Chinese Text Data from Web Forms

 MySQL - Installation on Windows

 MySQL - Connecting PHP to Database

 MySQL - Character Set and Encoding

 MySQL - Sending Non-ASCII Text to MySQL

 Retrieving Chinese Text from Database to Web Pages

 Input Chinese Text Data to MySQL Database

 Archived Tutorials

 References

 Full Version in PDF/EPUB