The study involves approximately 250 Chinese university students from eight institutions to determine what parts of a representative sample of Chinese characters are crucial to their correct identification. A web-based experimental platform was used to present 102 simplified characters to participants. The characters were partially obscured using a Gaussian blurring technique. The direction of maximum blur could either be from top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right, or right to left. Participants were asked to identify the blurred character and type its pinyin. Overall, participants correctly identified 88% of characters. The effects of all forms of blurring on correct recognition were correlated with character structures. Phonetic radicals seem to be more sensitive to the blurring than semantic radicals, while the radical transparency and radical frequency also play a role in the recognition accuracy. The blurring conditions that impacted most significantly on correct recognition were top to bottom and bottom to top, which caused, respectively, the upper and lower parts of the character to be obscured.