From “anything goes” to “nothing goes”, changes to .Cn registration enforcement will reduce the number of .cn domain names.
China’s domain name strategy has always perplexed me. For a country known for censoring just about everything, I found it odd that the country was essentially giving away .Cn domain names for about 14 cents.
The low cost catapulted China above Germany for the most registered country code top level domain name, a status that China once again regained in the fourth quarter of last year according to VeriSign’s latest market report. (At last count, .de has nearly 13.5 million domains registered. Numbers from CNNIC for the end of last year show a similar number of .cn domains.)
But then early this year, China suddenly realized it had a problem. .Cn was out of control. So .Cn registry CNNIC announced it would crack down on individuals registering domains, and forbid non-Chinese registrars from offering .cn.
This certainly put a damper on sales. Now comes word that people wishing to register a .cn domain name will need to show photo ID, and perhaps meet in person with their registrar. And, no surprise here, PCWorld is reporting that “Applicants must also submit other information and a description of their site’s content, including anything that needs ‘advance or special approval.'” It’s all under the guise of censoring porn.
And so the quick rise of .cn will also be a quick fall. .De, welcome back to the #1 spot.