The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has given the green light to internationalised domain names (IDNs) in Chinese script, representing a huge opportunity for firms hoping to reach potential customers in the region.The internet oversight body has approved the domains of the China Internet Network Information Center, the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation and the Taiwan Network Information Centre, in a move likely to prompt a large-scale rollout of Chinese language domains."This approval is a significant change for Chinese language users worldwide, " said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive of Icann."One fifth of the world speaks Chinese, and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people."After a typically drawn out process, Icann finally inserted the first IDN country-code top-level domains in the DNS root zone last month for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, thanks to a 'fast-track' process approved in Seoul last October.However, some have argued that the proliferation of domain names in non roman characters could give rise to greater instances of typosquatting and make the job of managing defensive registrations even more of a headache.
Issue: 316 | July 2013
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