As a result of Internet market open for competition, domain names are no longer the rights for companies. Many enterprises and individuals, through utilizing Internet resources, have discovered that other parties have taken up domain names which belong to their companies. Thus, other than monopolizing domains, companies have also begun to develop virtual domains, Chinese converted sites, web search services, etc. Singapore's i-DNS.net has solved the Chinese domain name problem, with the introduction of i-DNS. Using Unicode, different countries can now match domains in their native language to the equivalent websites IP, without affecting the existing English domains. This has captured vast interest in Asian countries, with India being the first to be appointed registrar, followed by Taiwan, and TimeNet is the sole registrar for i-DNS.
TimeNet assistant general manager Cai QiYan pointed out that in order to protect Chinese domain names which local enterprises might require, TimeNet has already requested for i-DNS.net to reserve 10000 Chinese domain names for enterprises in the country. Although the ISP has opened up domains for '.com', '.org', '.per', '.gov', and '.edu' for registration, the domains for government and educational institutes belong to the government and will be managed by TWNIC. For a start, only '.com' will be opened for registration local enterprises. As there are bound to be repetitions in Chinese names, applications will be processed according to the registered names as states in the respective business licenses of companies. A month after registration officially starts, applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration fees and system administration will be comparable to that of Internic. A one-time registration fee of NT500 and subsequent yearly subscription of NT1200, to be made in 2-yearly payments, will be imposed.
ISPs have raised concerns that, since Chinese domains are unlike IP or branded commodities, which could be monopolized, it is more likely that a particular domain name might have already been registered by another party. TimeNet believed that domain names would become a distinct index, representative of a company, on the boundless world of the Internet. Especially with Chinese becoming the common language for the global Chinese population, Chinese domains will become more significant in the development of the Internet in the Chinese population.
Seednet general manager Cheng JiaJun noted, at present there are also registries providing services for Internationalized domain name space, in view of the free competition in the Internet market, Chinese domains should be regarded as a technology or service on the Internet. It is not restrictive nor monopolizing as IP, whether it is profitable, is still an unknown issue. Therefore, Seednet will not consider any follow-up actions on this. As for the percentage that Chinese Unicode constitutes on the web on a global basis, the acceptance and influence of Chinese domains, is yet to be tested by the market.
-- Translated Article