After reaching a peak of around 14,100,000 domain name registrations for .CN (China), the number of .CN registrations dropped dramatically to 12,800,000 in May this year before rising again, reaching 12,963,685 registrations at the end of June according to statistics on the CNNIC website.
In the process of the drop, .CN may have temporarily ceded the number one country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) to .DE (Germany.
The reason for the drop is not clear, but is quite likely the result of a promotion where .CN domain names could be registered for one yuan for the twelve month period to December 31, 2008. With registrations coming up for renewal, many registrants may have decided not to renew their domain names.
To register your .CN or .DE domain name, check out Asia Registry here.