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.”
The new IDN country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and the approved organizations to handle registration for these are:
• .中国 and .中國 – CNNIC – the China Internet Network Information Center http://www.cnnic.cn
• .香港 – HKIRC – Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited http://www.hkirc.hk
• .臺灣 and .台湾- TWNIC – Taiwan Network Information Center http://www.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.
ICANN CNNIC HKDNR Accredited Registrar