When inputting a Chinese character "" on WhatsApp for Android version 2.20.47, it is rendered as the emoji 😝 instead.

My first guess is the Unicode of the Chinese character and the emoji are the same? Is there any reason behind this?

FYI: The character is typed with ChangJie, and the input code is η«ΉδΊΊζˆˆδΈ€εΌ“ or HOIMN.

  • 1
    The character you typed is U+E409, which is in the private use area, which means that different fonts may use it for different purposes. Private use characters should not really be relied on for general interchange. (On my machine, I get a little envelope icon.) – TRiG Feb 24 at 17:32
  • I'm not familiar with Chinese input methods, so I can't tell you how the input method used produced that character. – TRiG Feb 24 at 17:33

This is because WhatsApp uses Apple's emoji set, which essentially uses SoftBank mapping for backward compatibility in a Private Use Area (PUA), long before emoji was standardized in the Unicode.

The character "" (U+E409) is in the Basic Multilingual Plane's (U+E000 - U+F8FF) PUA. Since it is in the PUA, there is no standard definition for the character. While the character is supposedly rendered as a Chinese character, SoftBank (and Apple subsequently) apparently uses the PUA for their emoji, and U+E409 "coincidentally" renders 😝.

Some other characters in the PUA that are rendered as emoji on WhatsApp (U+E400 - U+E40F):

enter image description here


Note that this is entirely WhatsApp's doing. This also affects WhatsApp Web and also WhatsApp on PC. However, other apps/OSes may render the character differently or otherwise, fails to render.

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