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Chinese domain set to surf

07-07-2010 10:36 BJT Special Report:

Domain names with Chinese characters will function in August following final approval by ICANN, the organization that administers the Internet, at a meeting in Brussels on June 25.

The top-level Chinese domain . 中国 will now be formally integrated into the global Internet root domain system.

Current websites in China will also be able to register with the .中国 extension.

Chinese character domain names are expected to be functioning next month, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

Founded as a non-profit organization in 1997, CNNIC is now the administrative agency responsible for Internet affairs under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It has conducted technical studies on a Chinese domain since 1998, said Li Xiaodong, deputy director of the organization.

"We have finished setting up the international Internet standards in this field and solved a series of technical problems such as the unity of variant Chinese characters and the equivalence between the simplified and traditional Chinese," Li said.

"No matter whether they input simplified or traditional Chinese in the address bar, Internet users all over the world can accurately enter the websites they are interested in," Li said. "For example, 北京大學.中國 and 北京大学.中国 have the same effect."

Mao Wei, director of CNNIC, said the solution accommodates Internet users in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as overseas Chinese, most of whom use traditional Chinese.

"It safeguards the continuity and unity of Chinese culture," Mao said.

A growing number of state agencies, enterprises and public institutions have .中国 domain names, including the Shanghai Expo, some companies listed as "Time-Honored Chinese Brands" and education and finance institutions.

More than 90 percent of national ministries and provincial government agencies, over 95 percent of media websites and over half of the nation's top 100 enterprises now have Chinese-language domain names.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: China Daily

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