Wang Xuan, a prominent Chinese IT expert, died of illness on Monday at the age of 69.
Wang, the inventor of a computerized laser photo composition system for Chinese character typesetting and an academic with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, passed away at 11:03 at Union Hospital in Beijing.
Born in February 1937 in the city of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province in east China, Wang was famed for his expertise in computer science, specializing in the processing of characters, graphics and images.
He patented the system for Chinese character typesetting in Europe in 1982. The achievement laid the foundations for technological reform that transformed China's traditional letterpress printing technique into laser photocomposition.
Wang, also vice chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and a prestigious professor at elite Peking University, has received many state-level and international awards, including a gold medal at the 14th International Inventions Show in Geneva in 1986, and the 1995 prize for advancement in science and technology at the HoLeung Ho Lee Foundation.
Many people in China began to express condolences on the Internet Monday afternoon, citing Wang's death as "a great loss to China" and praising him as "the fine example of Chinese intellectuals".
Peking University, where Wang had studied and worked for more than decades since 1954, opened an on-line memorial on Monday and is busy arranging a mourning-hall on campus.
(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2006)