Non-latin characters coming to .asia.
ICANN Senior Vice President of Services Kurt Pritz has notified (pdf) DotAsia Organisation LTD that it is granting permission to start offering internationalized domain names on .asia.
In the letter, Pritz praised DotAsia for its “leadership in promoting the coordination of the domain-name system in the public interest.”
Meant for residents and companies of Asian countries, the .asia sTLD hasn’t really caught on. Registrations have dipped below 200,000 and continue to fall, according to HosterStats.com. HosterStats reports 174,288 .asia domains registered as of the beginning of October, down from about 215,000 earlier in the year. IDNs make sense for .asia given the vast number of non-latin languages in the area. But this vast number may be part of the reason .asia has struggled — it’s a very diverse area to form a common identity based on just “Asia”.