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ICANN Approves Chinese Character Domains

5:18 pm on Jul 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ICANN Approves Chinese Character Domains [news.bbc.co.uk]
Chinese people should soon find it easier to browse the web as domain names written in Chinese win approval. Net address overseer Icann has approved the creation of domains that use only Chinese characters.

The decision builds on earlier work to create internationalised domain names (IDNs) using with non-Latin characters.

Icann said firms in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan would soon be issuing domains for people and organisations within their countries that are written with all Chinese scripts.
11:08 pm on July 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Great news, and about time the net moved to more than just a westernized domain system. The approved IDN ccTLDs are .中国 and .中國 for mainland China, .香港 for Hong Kong and .台灣 and .台湾 for Taiwan.


What isn't clear is what the relationship will be between the new Chinese IDN ccTLDs and the (now) "legacy" .cn, .hk and .tw ccTLDs. I assume it will be a separatre TLD with different registration requirements?

These aren't the first IDN ccTLDs approved though, four others are already being made available: امارات. (United Arab Emirates), السعودية. (Saudi Arabia), .рф (Russian Federation) and مصر. (Egypt).

(Technical note: switch to UTF-8 encoding for this page in your browser if the above does not display correctly, eg. View > Character encoding > UTF-8 in Firefox.)
3:04 am on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They have the internet in china? And how can they even type those characters when they're not on the keyboard? / homer simpson.

This seems to make sense I think. No issues with having a multi-character internet though? Seriously, how am I ever going to get to those sites? As egocentric as it is, would we be better off with only our current character set? Are we better off with everyone able to access the internet in their own way, or with a standard that everyone adhere's to? (I'm guessing they must use chinese keyboards in china? Sounds like a dumb question, I really have no idea).
4:38 am on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Two characters? I wonder why its not abbreviated.

@wheel: They have a normal English keyboards (search for Pinyin or Wubi input methods), older people have a drawing pad to write characters. Many people (40 and older) can not write or read Latin characters, for those this is an important change.

You get to those sites by clicking a link or typing in the URL. But anyway the content will be in Chinese. When you are able to read the content, you are able to type in the domain.
9:57 am on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This could make 'normal' names less valuable and unless you are a native Chinese or know enough I would stay away from them.

These names are also a matter of national pride
3:13 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are one letter domains aloud? If yes, how many are possible?
1:02 am on July 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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But CNNIC has been offering .中国 and .中國 domains since 2001. We even have a thread on it: Domain names in Chinese [webmasterworld.com]. I've owned all of my company's trademark keywords in Chinese characters for about that long. The only news here is that ICANN finally caved to CNNIC pressure and have recognized the system they've had in place in China for years.

The .中国 and .中國 domains directly correspond to IDN codes under .cn, so if you buy either then you are essentially also registering a .cn name at the same time. The same goes for the Hong Kong and Taiwan domains.
4:14 am on July 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In yet another step forward for the Internet, the Chinese speaking population will soon be able to access the Internet in Chinese script. ICANN, the Internet ruling body, announced on Friday its decision to approve a set of Chinese language internationalized domain names. What this means is that instead of typing .com in English for domain names, Chinese language characters can instead be used. Currently, there are instances where Chinese characters can be used for a domain name but not for the extension.

This approval is a significant change for Chinese language users worldwide, said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN. One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people.

• .й and .Ї C CNNIC C the China Internet Network Information Center [cnnic.cn...]

• . C HKIRC C Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited [hkirc.hk...]

• ._ and .̨- TWNIC C Taiwan Network Information Center [twnic.tw...]

Registrations should be available shortly. China is considered one of the fastest growing Internet populations. Similar approvals were done earlier this year for Arabic and Russian based IDN ccTLDs.