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China reopens .cn to individuals, but registrars may be slow to follow

May 29, 2012.cn, cnnic, Domain Registrars, Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on China reopens .cn to individuals, but registrars may be slow to follow

Individuals can now register .cn domains, but domain registrars may still be cautious about offering the domains.

After clamping down on .cn domain registrations a few years ago, China is beginning to open up its country code top level domain again.

Yesterday China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the registry for .cn domain names, announced that registration would again be available to individuals instead of just businesses.

CNNIC announced restrictions on .cn domain registrations in December 2009. This included only allowing businesses to register domains. It then abruptly announced that non-Chinese domain registrars would no longer be allowed to register .cn domain names. It later considered reversing course, but required registrars to collect personal information about each registrant including a color headshot photo identification, business identification (including a Chinese business registration number), and physical signed registration forms from the registrant.

Go Daddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar, decided not to reinstate .cn registration capabilities in light of these requirements. It said its reasons were less financial than concerns about handing over this personal information.

Mostly as a result of a crackdown on .cn registrants, .cn registrations fell from a peak of 14 million to just over 3 million.

Now that CNNIC has reopened registrations for individuals, will Go Daddy start offering .cn registrations again? I reached out to Go Daddy earlier today for comment.

Rich Merdinger, Vice President of Product Development – Domains, released the following statement:

We are monitoring recent developments with CNNIC involving domain name registrations. We will also be listening to our customers about their demand for .CN domain names.

My guess is registrars remain cautious about offering .cn.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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China Puts Domain Registrars in Tough Spot, Again

June 29, 2010.cn, cnnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on China Puts Domain Registrars in Tough Spot, Again

CNNIC reverses role of registry and registrar, and communicates poorly to boot.

Imagine if VeriSign sent an email to the all .com registrants asking them to click a link to verify they have the correct email address.* If you didn’t respond within 15 days, your domain name was subject to deletion.

Sounds crazy, but this is the latest threat from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the registry for .cn. Its latest move to clean up the .cn domain space is also putting domain name registrars in a unique position, and reversing the usual roles of the registry-registrar relationship.

In the typical gTLD world, registries prefer not to communicate with registrants and depend on registrars to manage all communications. But CNNIC is communicating directly with registrants and, to a large degree, leaving registrars out of the loop.

I talked to Camille Ede, Director of Domain Services at GoDaddy, this afternoon. She confirmed that the registrar received a communication from CNNIC about the new verification campaign on Monday, but some of the company’s customers had already received the confirmation email from CNNIC.

“We didn’t necessarily see it coming but we were prepared for it,” said Ede. “We’re evaluating if we should send further notices to our customers. Our customer service representatives are fully equipped to answer any questions from our customers [about the notices].”

Go Daddy is going to try to track its customers’ response rate to CNNIC’s verification emails. But keep in mind that registrants are confirming with the registry, not the registrar. So it might be difficult for registrars to know how many of their customers are compliant.

When Go Daddy asked its .cn customers to provide new proof of identity earlier this year, only 20% responded. This does not bode well for a high percentage of customers responding to CNNIC’s emails — if they even find their way to their inboxes.

Will CNNIC actually delete domain registrations if the registrant doesn’t verify, or is this just a threat?

“We have to consider the worst case scenario, so we’re definitely looking out for our customers on this one.” Ede said.

Bluff or not, CNNIC’s handling of the entire situation doesn’t instill confidence. And to think, China is about to get two more country code top level domains.

*Yes, I realize VeriSign operates under a thin-whois model, and doesn’t actually retain registrant information. But you get the point.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Related posts:

  1. Report: China Halts Overseas Registrars from Registering .CN Domains
  2. Verify your .Cn Email Address in 15 Days or You Might Lose your Domain
  3. China May Re-Open Individual Registration of .Cn Domain Names

Verify your .Cn Email Address in 15 Days or You Might Lose your Domain

June 29, 2010.cn, cnnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on Verify your .Cn Email Address in 15 Days or You Might Lose your Domain

CNNIC wants you to verify your email address, like, today.

This may sound like a really bad phishing scheme, but it’s coming from a legitimate source.

RRPproxy is reporting that all owners of China’s .cn domain names are receiving an email notice to verify their registrant information. Failure to respond within 15 days may mean your domain name is processed according to “relevant provisions of the Registry”, which RRPproxy says means the domain name could be deleted.

.Cn registry CNNIC is apparently directly emailing .cn domain name owners according to the email address provided at for whois. So if you have an invalid email address, you won’t be able to verify and you could lose your domain.

Here’s the message CNNIC sent to RRPproxy:

According to the policy in Article 28th of “China Internet Domain Name Regulations” the applicant for a .CN domain name shall submit true, accurate and complete domain name registration information and sign a registrant agreement with the domain name registrar. Upon completion of domain name registration, the applicant for a .CN domain name become a registered domain name holder (registrant).

Domain name holder’s true, accurate and complete domain name registration information is a certificate of rights for domain name transfer and information change. In order to protect the rights of the registrant of being domain name holder, CNNIC is requiring all domain name holders to confirm the registration information via the new launched online system of CNNIC. The notification email will be sent directly to the registrants.

This move is similar to photo ID requirements for new registrations required earlier this year, and banning foreign registrars from registering domains, and was announced in a similarly haphazard manner (read: without notice).


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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  3. China Puts Domain Registrars in Tough Spot, Again

China’s .Cn to Quickly Lose Status as Top Country Code Domain Name

February 24, 2010.cn, .de, cnnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on China’s .Cn to Quickly Lose Status as Top Country Code Domain Name

From “anything goes” to “nothing goes”, changes to .Cn registration enforcement will reduce the number of .cn domain names.

China’s domain name strategy has always perplexed me. For a country known for censoring just about everything, I found it odd that the country was essentially giving away .Cn domain names for about 14 cents.

The low cost catapulted China above Germany for the most registered country code top level domain name, a status that China once again regained in the fourth quarter of last year according to VeriSign’s latest market report. (At last count, .de has nearly 13.5 million domains registered. Numbers from CNNIC for the end of last year show a similar number of .cn domains.)

But then early this year, China suddenly realized it had a problem. .Cn was out of control. So .Cn registry CNNIC announced it would crack down on individuals registering domains, and forbid non-Chinese registrars from offering .cn.

This certainly put a damper on sales. Now comes word that people wishing to register a .cn domain name will need to show photo ID, and perhaps meet in person with their registrar. And, no surprise here, PCWorld is reporting that “Applicants must also submit other information and a description of their site’s content, including anything that needs ‘advance or special approval.’” It’s all under the guise of censoring porn.

And so the quick rise of .cn will also be a quick fall. .De, welcome back to the #1 spot.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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  3. Report: China Halts Overseas Registrars from Registering .CN Domains

China May Re-Open Individual Registration of .Cn Domain Names

January 18, 2010.cn, cnnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on China May Re-Open Individual Registration of .Cn Domain Names

CNNIC plans to re-open registration.

Individuals may regain the ability to register .cn domain names sometime in the future, China Daily is reporting.

CNNIC, which manages the .cn country code domain name for China, banned individuals from registering the domain names late last year as it cracked down on pornography and false registrations. .Cn became very popular thanks to cut rate pricing, but the low pricing made the domain a popular tool for criminal activity.

Earlier this month, CNNIC also banned non-Chinese registrars from registering .cn domain names for anyone, including businesses.

These moves have pushed many people in China to other top level domain names, such as .com. The China Daily story quotes school teacher Wu Xiaofei: “I have to hand in a lot of material if I register a “.cn” domain name, but I can have a “.com” domain name by providing just my e-mail address and paying the agent about 40 yuan, which is more convenient.”

CNNIC would not provide a time table for restoring registration capabilities to individuals.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Report: China Halts Overseas Registrars from Registering .CN Domains
  2. How Long Until China Confiscates Google.Cn Domain Name?
  3. People’s Daily new article about Chinese domains

How Long Until China Confiscates Google.Cn Domain Name?

January 13, 2010.cn, china, cnnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google, Policy & LawComments Off on How Long Until China Confiscates Google.Cn Domain Name?

The Google.cn domain name is in jeopardy.

If there’s one lesson learned about country code domain names, it’s that you have little protection as a domain registrant. With Google announcing that it will stop censoring its Google.cn search results, it is basically asking for the Chinese government to shut it down.

China can take a number of measures to block access to Google in China. One of the simplest steps is to just confiscate the Google.cn domain name.

Will it happen? How long will it be until China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) makes this move? Answer the poll below.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Report: China Halts Overseas Registrars from Registering .CN Domains
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  3. People’s Daily new article about Chinese domains