As I’m a mainlander Chinese, I can only speak for those computers and browsers who live in central P.R.China.
If you are making a design for or in Mandarin Chinese, especially Simplified Chinese, beside those common English web safe fonts such as Arial and Verdana shipped in MS Windows by default that 95% mainlander Chinese rely on, you can specify font-family in CSS by the following typefaces for Chinese characters, they are almost totally safe across all Chinese browsers:
- å®‹ä½“, mostly used for large chunks of paragraphs in small font sizes.
- é»‘ä½“, works out well in either headings or paragraphs.
- å¹¼åœ†, slender touches and rounded corners, pearl’s way.
- éš¶ä¹¦, renaissance of a rather traditional Chinese brush writing dating thousands of years back, generally modest and conservative with an ancient style yet powerful from within.
- å¾®è½¯é›…é»‘, the new Chinese character font introduced in Vista and with IE7, though not that safe compared with the former 4 in that it’s not automatically included in the Chinese localized version of Windows XP, it’s generally accepted as the most elegant and beautiful of the Mandarin Chinese web safe fonts by Chinese web designers.
I have also made a screenshot of how these fonts look in real Chinese characters in FF2, with normal, bold and italic states for each typeface. The 4 characters is Shakespeare in Chinese in the right column with the name of the font in the left column.