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Internet Domain Name Expansion Now Underway

First New Generic Top-Level Domains Delegated

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Los Angeles, California… The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that the first new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) from its New gTLD Program were delegated. This means they were introduced into the Internet's Root Zone, the central authoritative database for the Internet's Domain Name System.

As a result, the domain name Registries, the organizations approved to operate these and other soon-to-be-delegated gTLDs, can execute the final processes required to make their domain names available to Internet users.

ICANN's New gTLD Program is responsible for the introductions of new gTLDs that will result in the expansion of the Domain Name System from 22 gTLDs (e.g., .COM, .NET, .ORG) to possibly 1,400 new names or "strings." These additional gTLDs will enhance competition, innovation and choice in the Domain Name space, providing a wider variety of organizations, communities and brands new ways to communicate with their audiences. All Registries that operate these new gTLDs must pass a rigorous evaluation process and technical preparations and assessments. These steps help ensure the safe, secure and measured rollout of the new gTLDs.

"It's happening – the biggest change to the Internet since its inception," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division. "In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined. It's this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society."

The four strings delegated are:

  • شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – Arabic for "web/network"
    Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
  • онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Cyrillic for "online"
    Registry: CORE Association
  • сайт (xn--80aswg) – Cyrillic for "site"
    Registry: CORE Association
  • 游戏(xn--unup4y) – Chinese for "game(s)"
    Registry: Spring Fields, LLC

The newly delegated gTLDs are in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts. They are the first of many gTLDs in various non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Hindi that will be introduced under the New gTLD Program. The delegation of non-Latin script gTLDs demonstrates ICANN's efforts to create a globally-inclusive Internet, regardless of language or region.  

Before the general public will be able to access these new gTLDs on the Internet, Registries still need to complete a final process built into the New gTLD Program to protect trademark rights holders. Following this mandatory 30-day period, a Registry can make the new gTLD available to the general public at its discretion.

"Our efforts to ensure the secure and stable introduction of these new gTLDs is unparalleled," said Christine Willett, Vice President, gTLD Operations at ICANN. "In addition to applauding the applicants that have successfully completed the New gTLD Program, we also want to recognize the diligent work of our partners, the ICANN community and our own ICANN team. Together we have made an historic change in Internet address names."

ICANN's New gTLD Program was designed to facilitate a measured rollout of new domains so as not to disrupt the Domain Name System. The gTLDs from the New gTLD Program will be introduced into the Internet securely and steadily over the next few years. The Program is the result of eight years of study, and 47 different solicitations of comments from the public, which produced more than 2,400 comments, 55 explanatory memoranda and seven versions of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook.


To see who has applied for new gTLDs, go here:

To learn more about the New gTLD Program, go here:


Brad White
Director Global Media Affairs
Washington, D.C.

James Cole
ICANN Global Media Coordinator
Washington, D.C.
Tel. +1 202.570.7240

Andrew Robertson
Edelman Public Relations
London, U.K.
Tel. + 44 (7811) 341 945

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."