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ICANN Approves IDNs for China, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka…

A few weeks back I asked Where is China's IDN?

ICANN not only answered my question about China, but also about a host of additional countries (and territory) that had applied for fast-track IDNs.

Here are the most recent IDN (string evaluation) approvals:

  • China (cn): 中國 (traditional); 中国 (simplified)
  • Hong Kong (hk): 香港
  • Palestinian Territory (ps): فلسطين
  • Qatar (qa): قطر
  • Sri Lanka (lk): ලංකා (Sinhalese); இலங்கை (Tamil)
  • Taiwan (tw): 台湾 (simplified); 台灣 (traditional)
  • Thailand (th): ไทย
  • Tunisia (tn): تونس

For the full list of IDNs now in the ICANN pipeline, I've created a page here. It also explains why you may not be able to view all of the scripts on this blog post.

ICANN says it has given preliminary approval for IDNs in 19 countries across 11 languages. Note that this means that these IDNs have passed the string review, which is arguably the most difficult phase. But there is still one stage left before those domains can go live. And don't get me started on the challenges that some of these domains will pose to existing web browsers — that's the topic of a future post.

By John Yunker, Author and founder of Byte Level Research

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Numbers? By Jon Lawrence  –  Apr 05, 2010 7:56 pm PDT

John - I'm not sure how you get to 19 countries and 11 languages. 

I count six languages:
- Arabic
- Chinese
- Russian
- Sinhalese
- Tamil
- Thai

from 12 countries:
- China
- Egypt
- Hong Kong
- Palestine
- Qatar
- Russia
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan
- Thailand
- Tunisia

making a total of 15 strings that have passed through the string evaluation phase.

Hi Jon -- Very good point. I By John Yunker  –  Apr 05, 2010 8:00 pm PDT

Hi Jon — Very good point. I was quoting ICANN and my assumption was that they hadn't yet published all of the fast-track applications (or they had their counts wrong). But I'll look into it some more. Thanks.

Fair enough... By Jon Lawrence  –  Apr 05, 2010 8:08 pm PDT

I knew I'd seen those numbers somewhere before.

The following are countries I'm aware of that have publicly announced their intention to apply but have yet to pass string evaluation (if they have actually submitted their application):
South Korea

I don't believe Japan has yet submitted an application as they're still working out who should operate the registry (though that really isn't a reason not to apply for the string). They are undoubtedly also a few more Arabic-speaking countries yet to come.

19/11 is current stats for Fast Track By Tina Dam  –  Apr 06, 2010 11:47 am PDT

We update them usually monthly at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/

full list of strings approved in Fast Track String Evaulation By Tina Dam  –  Apr 06, 2010 11:51 am PDT

is available here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion-en.htm

Please note that the requesters still need to go through String Delegation before the IDN ccTLDs are live in the DNS. And, some are awaiting the synchronized IDN ccTLD evaulation before they can initiate the String Delegation.

Thanks Tina. By John Yunker  –  Apr 06, 2010 5:44 pm PDT

Thanks Tina.

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