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Making Chinese Internet History

This past week was quite the historical change for the Internet with several additional languages moving forward in the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.

With one billion people around the world using Chinese as their primary language, it means that one out of every five people on the planet can have benefit from the introduction of the newly approved Chinese extensions:

• .中国 and .中國 – CNNIC – the China Internet Network Information Center

• .香港 – HKIRC – Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited

• .台灣 and .台湾- TWNIC – Taiwan Network Information Center

This is also the first time that variants are allowed at top-level domains or extensions for the Internet. For CNNIC and TWNIC they each have two variants approved for delegation. Both organizations have over a decade in variant operational experience, and have published implementation plans that describe how the variants are to be managed. We hope to get some good experience in these launches that can be used generally for TLD variant management and help us make this available for others as well.

At lot of people are of course asking the obvious question: when will we be able to make registrations and what are the registration rules? They should be available shortly, but please go to the respective organization for the IDN ccTLD management for more details about registration rules, launches and timelines.

At the ICANN meeting in Brussels, where the ICANN Board approval took place on 25 June 2010, it was followed by a CDNC event. Everybody celebrated the newly approved Chinese IDN ccTLDs, with music and food – pictures to come.

Singapore and Syria:
This month’s IDN ccTLD string evaluation completions included Singapore and Syria, with:

Syrian Arab Republic: سورية (Arabic)
Singapore: 新加坡 and சிங்கப்பூர் (Chinese and Tamil)

This means that the two organizations now can submit their requests to have these strings delegated as new top-level domains for use in the Internet.

IDN ccTLD Fast Track Status:
All in all we have now received 31 requests for IDN ccTLDs from countries and territories. Together they represent 19 languages. Details can be found at:


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."