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For the English alphabet there's a site, FontSquirrel, that provides great free fonts for commercial use, handpicked and tested. I haven't found anything similar for Chinese fonts, the only very good free font and commercial-use OK is Google Noto, but I'd need something more "traditional-looking", a type of font you'd find in school books. If there isn't anything good for free, I am also OK with purchasing something, but I haven't found online neither a store for Chinese fonts.

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5 Answers 5

You may want to try WenQuanYi bitmap fonts.

http://wenq.org/en/

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Thanks very much! As soon as I got enough points I'll upvote. If I may ask, can you read chinese? If you can, what is more readable in your opinion between these fonts? scribd.com/doc/237814779/Lorem-Ipsum-SCH –  Mastro Willis Aug 26 at 23:38
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@MastroWillis Both are equally readable for me. BTW: I did not noticed that you was not asking for free fonts. In this case, I would think any fonts marked as "宋体" or "Sun" or "Song" would be good. –  Xiaoge Su Aug 26 at 23:55
    
Thanks a lot! I am also interested into purchase fonts since I saw that those two Japanese don't work perfectly: the second one (aozora mincho) renders smoothly with high pixel densities and becomes blurry on low ones while the first font (Hanazono) does the exact contrary! Should I buy an Adobe Font? I heard that they work good both on Desktops and smartphones, which is what I am looking for. –  Mastro Willis Aug 27 at 0:08

Unsurprisingly the Japanese do this better.

Hanazono have an excellent, free, font:

About Hanazono font

This font is a free kanji font. The KAGE system1, Clipper2, FontForge[3] and TTX[4] are used to create this font. All glyphs in this font are from GlyphWiki[5].

List of included characters

This font contains about 90,041 characters (and spaces) defined in ISO/IEC 10646 standard / the Unicode standard.

It's broken up into two files HanaMinA.ttf and HanaMinB.ttf and can be downloaded from Source Forge.

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Thank you very much! I'd give an upvote if I could. I got a few more questions though: is it commercial-use friendly? does it render well on a mobile device? Does it support also Korean? –  Mastro Willis Aug 26 at 15:23
    
I saw myself that Korean is not supported. –  Mastro Willis Aug 26 at 15:52
    
Wikipedia: [F] Hanazono Mincho (花園明朝)[2] Two ttf fonts HanaMinA (Japanese 花園明朝A) for BMP and HanaMinB (Japanese 花園明朝B) for SIP – covers all CJK, CJK Compatibility, CJK-Ext.A, CJK-Ext.B, CJK-Ext.C, and CJK-Ext.D. Dual licensed under its own Hanazono Font License or SIL Open Font License. –  user3306356 Aug 26 at 15:59
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Pleco dictionaries (iOS and Android) use this as their backup font - so that should answer your question about mobile devices. –  user3306356 Aug 26 at 16:01
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Yeah absolutely. –  user3306356 Aug 27 at 17:00

If you are using Windows (XP, Vista, 7, ....), you can install the Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese Support. Then you will have fonts like MingLiU, Kai and SimSun.

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A bit baffled that people are looking for fonts in these days… OS X has plenty of great Chinese fonts installed per default, including all input methods one could wish for. Of course the usual Kaiti, Fangsong, Song and Heiti, but also handwritten style with Xingkai, Yuppie, Hanzipen, Hannotate and Wawa, as well as Yuanti, Baoli, Libian, Lantinghei and Weibei with a historical or stylish flavor. Plus a bunch of Japanese, Korean, Tibetan and other fonts, of course. –  倪阔乐 Sep 6 at 8:42
    
Moreover, Apple is offering different glyph variation (Mainland/HK/TW) for the same font face in IPhone. On the contrary, Google is bundling one font in Android only, and it complies to Mainland glyph requirements. –  Henry HO Sep 6 at 8:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

After having done several researches and having looked at your answers, I merged them and I finally got to a solution, that I will share.

Hanazono is undoubtedly the best free and commercial-use friendly font to display simplified Chinese yet its rendering is not perfect: it often gets blurry on desktop devices, while it's pretty sharp on mobile ones. So I found that the company Dynalab offers great S Chinese fonts for an affordable price (50 dollars), and this seems the best solution for people with a low budget. Their site is also available in English, which is great.

Since the topic also involved Japanese and Korean as we talked about it, I found out that there are some very, very wonderful fonts for these languages, all free and suitable for commercial use. For Japanese we got Aozora Mincho, which renders incredibly on all devices and screen densities, while for Hangul Naver itself developed Nanum Myeongjo, which is excellent on desktops and stunningly perfect on mobile devices.

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Arphic has released several free Chinese fonts, and I particularly like the Kaiti style. In Ubuntu, they're available in the package manager; I'm not sure how to get them for other systems.

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