Domain Names Written in Chinese Win Approval

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has given approval for creation of domains that use only Chinese characters, which will help Chinese people to browse the web easily.

The first internationalized domain names were for Arabic scripts and Egypt. The first to register domains using them were Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Icann shared that domains will be issued by firms in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for people and organizations within their countries written with Chinese scripts.

Icann Head, Rod Beckstrom said, "One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people".

It is a matter of irony that 60% of the net's users are non-native English speakers yet the main language online is English. And the decision of Icann goes some way towards addressing that incongruity.

Mr. Beckstrom added that Latin and native characters are mixed and that it took many years of work by the Internet Engineering Task Force, which has made it feasible to use domains written completely in one text. IDNs in about 20 languages are being prepared, including Thai and Tamil to follow soon.

The news was announced at the 38th international Icann meeting held in Brussels from 20-25 June.