Domains stop resolving after placed in clienthold status.
The websites for two major publicly traded Chinese travel sites went down today as a result of their domain names being place in “ClientHold” status at the registrar.
Sites for $8 billion (market cap) Ctrip.com (NASDAQ: CTRP) and $0.6 billion eLong.com both were unavailable this morning United States time.
Both domain names were placed on “clienthold”, a status that tells the registry to not activate the domain in the DNS, and thus not resolve. Ctrip.com is registered at Network Solutions and eLong.com is registered at Register.com, both of which are owned by Web.com.
Web.com spokesperson John Herbkersman told Domain Name Wire, “This was a Whois issue and has been resolved with both sites.”
The clienthold status is often used for payment issues, but both ctrip.com and elong.com have a long time until they expire. A clienthold can also be placed for legal reasons.
As of around 12pm EST, it appears the clienthold on ctrip.com was removed. Here’s the whois record from DomainTools when the hold was in place:
As of 12pm EST, eLong.com’s website was still down. [Update: it’s back up.] Here’s the whois record from Network Solutions: