Chinese Website Numbers Drop Dramatically in 2010

The number of Chinese websites dropped by 401 per cent in 2010 to 1.91 million websites according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The dramatic drop was attributed to stronger regulation.”Although the Internet is posing some problems for new media, our regulation is becoming stronger, we have taken a very big step in this area,” CASS media expert Liu Ruisheng was quoted as saying on the organisation’s website reports AFP.But while the number of websites dropped, Liu said Chinese webpages increased in 2010 by 60 billion, an increase of 78.6 percent over 2009 the AFP report continued.”This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated,” he said.The drop in the number of websites corresponds from the decline in .CN domain name registrations. Registrations of .CN domain names plummeted to 3,379,441 active domain names as of 28 February, a decline of over ten million registrations in 14 months, according to statistics published by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) now not available from their website.The total number of registered domain names declined from a peak of 13,459,133 as of 31 December 2009 when .CN was the number one ccTLD (CNNIC previously published registration statistics dated the end of each month).The decline has meant .CN, which was easily the number one ccTLD at its peak is now at best fifth and probably sixth in terms of total registrations.The dramatic reductions are the result of the end of promotions that lasted for much of 2008 and 2009 where domain names could be registered for a few cents and the introduction of restrictions on registrants.The restrictions on registrants were monitored by 600 temporary workers that were hired in February 2011 to check all .CN domain names for pornographic content and inaccurate records according to an IDG report at the time.