Home / Blogs

Three Things TLD Registries Must Know About China's Domain Name Regulation

Don't miss a thing – sign up for CircleID Weekly Wrap newsletter delivered to your inbox once a week.
Jian Chuan Zhang

Recently there have been a number of news reports/articles that are incorrect or misleading in interpreting China's domain name management policy (here and here). James has posted an article aiming to clarify what is going to in China's domain name market. Considering the potential negative impact of those reports on the participants of this market, I supplement James's post by pointing out three things, which I believe critical for any TLD registries that hope to have a better understand of China's domain name regulation and the special action based on it.

First, it is the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT, formerly known as Ministry of Information Industry (MIT)) that is conducting a round of special action on domain name registration market according to the Measures for the Administration of Internet Domain Names (MIT Administrative Order No. 30, hereinafter as the Regulation). Some ones have confused MIIT with a newly established (2014) department called Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). Although CAC is a high-profile inter-department coordinating agency, matters related to domain name industry is out of its perimeter. Instead, registry/registrar license application and approval fall into MIIT's responsibilities.

Second, the guideline of this action is the Regulation mentioned above (the full-text translation in English can be found here). The Regulation has always been publically available for free since its inception in 2004. Over the past one decade, all the players in this market are fully aware of the existence and the contents of this regulation. The essential requirement for registries and registrars is that they have to apply for a license before they start business in China. Accordingly, any registry without a license and registrar(s) providing registration service for the non-licensed TLD will be declared "illegal." The main articles related to this requirement are Article 12-13 for registry and Article 14-15 for registrar. Nowadays a revision of the regulation is under way to reflect the latest expansion of registry operators. However, except for the new requirement that any foreign registry has to establish a legal entity in China, all the other requirements for the license have maintained unchanged. Therefore, it is fairly safe to conclude that there is no "tightened control" or "new move" against New gTLD registries and registrars.

Third, MIIT's window is always open for applicants who might be interested in entering the Chinese market but have not been approved yet. All the materials needed for the application have been clearly listed in the Regulation. Up to now, there are 14 TLDs (belong to 8 entities) have been on the approval list by MIIT, and 3 of them ("网址" (IDN meaning web address) , "wang" and "top") are among the top 10 new gTLDs, according to nTLDStats. Besides those that belong to governmental agencies (CNNIC and CONAC), ZDNS is proud of being the backend service provider for all the rest TLDs, including "ren", "citic", "wang", "top", "商标" (IDN meaning trademark) and "网址." In addition, ZDNS has been involved in helping the registries apply for the license. Our experience indicated that no secret or undertable deals in the whole process. It is also worth noting that Zodiac (the registry for "wang") is a non-Chinese owned company.

It is regretful that some panic has been observed among registries and registrars due to those incorrect reports. However, based on my interaction with government officials and industry leaders, there is no need to panic. I hope the three points discussed previously could sort it out to some extent. After all, compared to other mature market, China is still an interesting and lucrative market where all registries and registrars are welcome.

By Jian Chuan Zhang, Senior Researcher at KNET and ZDNS

Related topics: Domain Names, Registry Services, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains



Thank you. Is there any initiative to help local registrars and registries address abuse issues? Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 23, 2015 6:29 AM PDT

According to several studies, the number of phishing domains, especially on some of the newer TLDs including some of the ones you mention, is quite high.

Is there any effort being coordinated within China to help mitigate this?

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Sponsored Topics

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Boston Ivy Gets Competitive With Its TLDs, Offers Registrars New Wholesale Pricing

With a mission to make its top-level domains available to the broadest market possible, Boston Ivy has permanently reduced its registration, renewal and transfer prices for .Broker, .Forex, .Markets and .Trading. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

.SPACE Becomes the Choice of the First Ever Space Nation Asgardia

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

8 Tips to Find Your Perfect .COM Domain Name

Why .com is the Venture Capital Community's Power Player

The .cancerresearch TLD: Search for Cure Drives Digital Innovation

New TLD? Make Sure It's Secure

Radix Launches Startup League at TechCrunch

Celebrating One Year of .online

LogicBoxes Launches the New Elite Reseller Program