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Rush on Chinese domain names

Online, IDG.net, 7 December 1999 -- The first service registering domain names containing Chinese characters picked up 90,000 customers in its first four days of operation, a rate of about one registration per second, according to the service provider, Taiwan-based ISP (Internet service provider) TimeNet.

The system, launched last week, operates using the Internationalized Domain Names System (i-DNS), which allows the registration of Internet domain names in 36 languages -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, plus several European, Arabic and Indian scripts, according to the company that developed the technology, Singapore-based i-DNS.net International.

Previously, only domain names consisting purely of standard English-language characters could be registered and used for accessing Web sites. The system is fully compatible with commonly used Internet browsers and inter operates with the existing domain name system (DNS), i-DNS said.

According to market analyst International Data Corp., 47 percent of Internet-connected devices in Asia are installed in largely non-English speaking countries and those with written scripts that require double-byte characters.

These include most of the fastest-growing Internet markets in Asia such as Mainland China and India, along with established e-commerce environments like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

i-DNS was first initiated as an academic project to explore multilingual and multiscript functionality for the current DNS. In April 1998, it was implemented as a pilot project at the Center for Internet Research, National University of Singapore.

In July 1998, the Asia Pacific Networking Group set up a commission to develop the i-DNS multilingual domain name server and implement the I-Domain multilingual domain name space as an international test bed.

Last month, the company i-DNS.net was launched with private equity investment firm General Atlantic Partners LLC as its lead investor.

On the Web, i-DNS.net can be found at http://www.i-dns.net/.
Timenet is at http://www.timenet.net/.

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