Some connexion between Babylonia and China is generally admitted, and all Indian alphabets seem traceable to a Semitic original borrowed in the course of commerce from the Persian Gulf.
Indian alphabets have spread to Tibet, Cambodia, Java and Korea.
Indian influence is predominant as far as Cambodia (though with a Chinese tinge), Indian alphabets being employed and the Buddhism being of the Sinhalese type, but in Annam and Tongking the Chinese script and many Chinese institutions are in use.
At the present time the Arabic alphabet is used on the mainland, but Indian alphabets in Java, Sumatra, &c.
This letter corresponds to the second symbol in the Phoenician alphabet, and appears in the same position in all the European alphabets, except those derived, like the Russian, from medieval Greek, in which the pronunciation of this symbol had changed from b to v.