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Mainland target for i-DNS.net Specialist in ventures to make multilingual e-mail addresses and domain-name software a standard in the market

Hong Kong, South China Morning Post (Technology), 17 October 2000 -- Multilingual Internet technology specialist i-DNS.net International is gearing up to expand mainland availability of software for creating Web domain names and e-mail addresses in multiple languages.

Michael Ng, chief executive of Silicon Valley-based i-DNS.net said developments had put the company back on track to making its software the "de facto standard" acceptable to mainland authorities.

These developments include strategic alliances with leading Chinese domain name registrars New Cyber International and Online NIC, and indications from Beijing authorities which favour adopting global standards over locally developed efforts in creating Chinese-language domain names and e-mail addresses.

As such, i-DNS.net is expected, within the next six months, to set up about 500,000 more multilingual domain names on top of about 200,000 it has set up since October last year for various companies and individuals throughout the world.

"What I have gathered from recent discussions with Chinese officials, including those from the Ministry of Information Industry is that they do not want to reinvent the wheel," Mr Ng said.

"What they want is a multilingual Internet domain name technology which meets their requirements of being based on open standards and which can also be subject to a degree of regulation."

Recent industry estimates cited by Mr Ng put the number of mainland Internet users at two million and this number is expected to grow to 10 million by 2001, and 200 million by 2007.

"At i-DNS.net, we strive to ensure backward-compatibility with current Domain Name System [DNS] protocols and adopt a global view to ensure full adherence to international standards rather than to develop piecemeal stand-alone local language solutions," he said.

The DNS is a fundamental service on the Internet used by practically all key Internet applications. Domain names are used to identify computers linked to the Net. They serve as easy-to-remember addresses, which are translated by the DNS into specific numeric addresses required by computer networks worldwide for identification.

The Internationlised Domain Name System, the technology platform i-DNS.net promotes, was developed at the National University of Singapore to enable multilingual Internet DNS-based applications.

"With non-English speakers poised to become a majority on the Web, it is imperative the current DNS is able to accomodate scripts that are not based on the Roman alphabet," Mr Ng said, estimating non-English Internetusers were about 40 per cent of all Net users. It is projected to increase to 60 per cent by 2003.

"In the New Economy, domain names are virtual electronic brands and customers are going to appreciate the need for domain names in the local language."

Forrester Research analyst Eric Schimitt said: "Since 50 per cent of all online sales will be sold outside the United States by 2004, building a multilingual site has become critical - particularly to those companies serious about winning in the Internet economy."

Chinese-language domain names have been made available by i-DNS.net since the start of this year.

Mr Ng said the company had also established partnerships promoting its technology with local entities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the US and Australia to broaden its Chinese-language domain name offerings.

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