China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has awarded 5 of Afilias’ gTLDs licences to allow them to be sold within the country, the registry operator announced last week.
The gTLDs, 3 of which are legacy generic top level domains – .info, .pro and .mobi, and 2 of which are new gTLDs – .red, and .kim.
The approval means Chinese businesses and other registrants are now legally allowed to operate sites in the 5 gTLDs. Only 15 ASCII TLDs (out of over 1000 worldwide) have been licensed so far, and Afilias operates one third of these privileged TLDs.
Afilias provides backend registry services for over 200 TLDs including 195 new gTLDs. For domain names to be legally sold and used for websites within China, each TLD must be licensed by MIIT to be eligible for sale.
Of the new gTLDs, Afilias’ 195 that have been delegated have 899,000 domains under management with .red having 112,600 and .kim 95,100 according to nTLDstats.com, the 29th and 34th largest of the new gTLDs. Of the legacy gTLDs, .info has 5,367m DUM, .pro 227,000 and .mobi 566,000 according to RegistrarStats.com.
“Afilias is proud that the Afilias China Registry Service, which supports these 5 TLDs, has proven to be among the few that are safe enough to meet MIIT’s high technical standards for licensing,” said Kun Qian, Afilias’ China Country Head. “Afilias now looks forward to working closely with our Chinese registrar partners to expand the market with our broad portfolio of globally recognized TLDs.”
“China’s domain name market is already the world’s second biggest, with over 40M registrations,” said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President of Afilias, “and more consumer choice will help it grow faster. As the first western registry operator to have licensed, in-country operations, Afilias provides more choices and an extra measure of confidence for Chinese registrars and registrants alike. Companies and others looking to tap new markets and reach broader audiences should add (or switch to) globally appealing addresses such as .info and .pro, which are intuitively meaningful and have more names available than legacy TLDs like .com.”
Afilias believes these 5 TLDs will serve the needs of both start-ups and established organisations that need a globally appealing internet presence to compete in today’s marketplace. Chinese firms typically have names in localised addresses, but many of them have aspirations beyond the Chinese market—these firms need a global address that sets them apart as a bigger player.