China’s 2017 Character of the Year!

China has officially chosen the Chinese Character of the Year for 2017! Based on a survey by the Chinese National Language Monitoring and Research Center, the Commercial Press,, and, the Character of the Year is “享” (xiǎng), which means “to share.” This character refers to the “sharing economy” that has become increasingly prevalent in China over the past few years. During this time, many innovative start-ups in China have utilized this model, which may be compared to the services of Uber, but in different contexts and other markets.

“享” was chosen as the Character of the Year 2017 out of thousands of recommendations and subsequently millions upon millions of votes by Chinese Internet users. In addition to this popular vote, expert linguists, professors, and editors provided input into choosing the important character based upon modern thought in China. The process of nominating characters began on November 20th, and a list of top characters was published on December 9th. On December 21st, 2017, “享” was chosen as the winner out of many other characters, including 云 (yún; referring to cloud computing and intelligence), 赞 (zàn; meaning “to praise” and referring to optimism), and 强 (qiáng; meaning “strong”).

This twelve-year old tradition is a very popular way for Chinese Internet users to get involved in celebrating their language with the world as the year comes to an end. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Until next time!



The Chinese word of the year shortlist

There are 5 comments

  1. Ashley Kwak

    It was nice to read about a tradition that was relatively new. I think it is a great way to get all the Internet users in the 21st century to celebrate the Chinese language by picking a Chinese character at the end of each year. I love that they pick the character of the year! So exciting and creative!

  2. Joanna

    I love that the Chinese people pick a character per year, and I would love to see Americans pick their own word per year. That aside, it’s lovely that they picked “to share” and I feel it conveys a beautiful message! Very cool!

  3. Hitomi Honda

    Wow, I never knew that China chooses a word of the year! I find this very interesting, and it’s so cool that 2017’s word meant “to share.” I also like that I was able to learn about why this word was chosen out of all of the others. Lastly, I can’t believe that this has been a tradition for 12 years! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Richard R

    I found it interesting to read about China’s 2017 character of the year. I love how it means “to share” and I think it’s a cool tradition that has naturally evolved online.

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