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Lingua Franker

Online, AsiaWeek, 24 December 1999 -- Surfing the Web is about to get a whole lot simpler for many of Asia's non-English speakers. Shunning the Roman alphabet, Singapore firm i-DNS (www.i-dns.net) has developed what it calls the Internationalized Domain Names System (i-DNS) - allowing web addresses to be registered in non-English characters for the first time. This month Taiwan Internet service provider TimeNet (www.timenet.net) began offering dot-coms in Chinese and picked up customers at a rate of one per second. A total of 90,000 domains were snapped up in one week, with multinationals like Coca-Cola and Internet firms like Chinadotcom getting in early to beat the cybersquatters. i-DNS, which grew out of a National University of Singapore research project, can also handle a further 35 languages, including Japanese, Korean, Arabic and India scripts.

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
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