We've successfully wrapped up the Asia Pacific (APAC) Domain Name System (DNS) Forum 2023 in Hong Kong. Held from 4 to 5 July and co-hosted with the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation (HKIRC), it was the first hybrid APAC DNS Forum even though the forum was launched in 2022. There was a palpable sense of excitement to meet in person again after the end of the pandemic. Our event drew 381 in-person and 170 remote participants.
We're pleased that we've achieved our key objective: bringing the regional community together to network and discuss key issues related to the DNS, such as digital transformation, cybersecurity, and the latest technological developments.
The forum drove home a key message: The DNS remains the backbone of the Internet. It is a tried and tested system that is globally distributed and extremely scalable. People are continuing to explore new and creative uses for the DNS. A couple of examples shared at the forum included anchoring digital asset information in domain names and using IPv6 addresses to map various Internet of Things (IoT) identifiers, which translates an IoT identifier query into an IPv6-based response.
During a session with regional policymakers, it was highlighted that according to the most recent e-Conomy SEA study, Southeast Asia's digital economy is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2030. The thought that this region – and in fact the entire global digital economy – is powered by the DNS is truly exhilarating!
While the DNS is facilitating the growth of the broader digital economy, the domain name industry itself in the APAC region is also expanding. The region is now one of the major growth markets for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) globally. In the first quarter of 2023, domain registrations increased by 3.6 percent.
In terms of registration and usage of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in the region, China has been making good headway. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), Chinese IDNs (that is, domain names in the Chinese script) are commanding higher prices than ASCII domain names (that is, domain names using the English alphabet) in China due to brand and name recollection.
With ICANN set to announce the implementation plan for the next round of new gTLDs in August 2023, we fully expect IDNs to be a key feature for our region in the future as the majority of people in the APAC region don't use English to communicate.
For more information about the domain name industry and digitalization in the APAC region, make sure to keep in touch with us via the APAC DNS Forum website. We want the APAC DNS Forum to become a regular information and engagement platform, not just an annual event, so watch out for more as we develop the forum further.