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Notes from ICANN CEO’s Visit to China

I travelled with Rod Beckstrom to Beijing on 2-3 March for talks with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Industry leaders and CNNIC, the China Internet information Network. Apart from a brief visit to Europe at end 2009 this was Rod’s first major bilateral visit since he was appointed President and CEO. A quite deliberate choice in recognition of ICANN’s strengthening ties with China since her return to the GAC last year.

During the visit Rod attended a NomComm outreach event designed to encourage greater participation. See pictures below. Organised by the charming and effective Professor Xue Hong, Director of the Institute for Internet policy at Beijing Normal University and in the presence of Madam Qiheng Hu, President of the Internet Society of China. The event was very kindly sponsored by CNNIC, whose Director General, Dr. Wei Mao, also made a very positive contribution to our efforts to encourage greater Chinese participation in our multi-stakeholder model.

The event was both interesting and fun, bringing together a good cross section of the Internet ecosphere in China. Moreover Prof. Hong tells me she has, in her roll of NomComm coordinator, already received several indications of interest from potential volunteers.

Nick Thorne

(For those who haven’t come across him, Nick is International Relations Adviser to Rod in his role as President and CEO).

ICANN CEO Visits China

ICANN CEO Visits China

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    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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."