Kassey Lee examines domains registered in .cn vs. third level .cn domains.
.cn offers many choices to investors as the second-largest extension after .com. You can register a domain in the .cn extension at the second level, for example Amazon.cn and Godaddy.cn. In addition, you can also register a third level (subdomain) of a .cn domain, for example Apple.com.cn, SinoData.net.cn, and HydroPower.org.cn, which are subdomains of com.cn, net.cn, and org.cn respectively.
Direct registration of domains in .cn was not permitted when the Chinese extension was launched in 1990. Registrations were available only for third level domains of the following domains.
|(adm).cn||Administrative districts, e.g., BJ.cn|
This changed in 2003 when registration of domains in .cn was allowed.
If you sell a domain to an end user in China, they must apply for an ICP license to operate the website in China. An example of an ICP license can be seen on the home page of Amazon.cn. In recent years, as I understand, the Chinese government is very strict in confirming a non-profit organization status. Therefore, it may not be easy to sell org.cn subdomains in China. (adm).cn, Gov.cn, Ac.cn, Edu.cn, and Mil.cn are all restricted. Therefore, we are talking about three choices for investment purposes: .cn domains, or com.cn or net.cn subdomains.
Recently, I read all “China Statistical Report on Internet Development” published from 1997 to 2021 by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), extracted numbers of domains registered in China, and then compiled the data into the following table.
The choice is obvious: if you want the largest pool of potential buyers, focus on .cn domains instead of the com.cn or net.cn subdomains.