Report: Only 14 TLDs Are “Legal” in China

WEDNESDAY,27 May 2015  The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on May 27th,Allegravita published a paper that looks to be a bit troubling for registries looking to do business in China moving forward. The Chinese government is looking to regulate the Chinese domain industry, The MIIT will not interfere with existing domain registrations for unapproved registries; however, new registrations will not be permitted to be sold by Chinese registrars to Chinese registrants.

New gtlds look like they are going to have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make sure they are compliant and can be offered in China.

From the paper:
Chinaʼs domain name industry has been largely unregulated for more than a decade, and the government recognizes the need to reign in control as Internet security has become a top priority for the new administration.

Chinaʼs new regulations concerning domain name registries and registrars are now close to completion. Following several years of ambiguity and rumor, new information emerged in Chinaʼs state-run media on May 12, 2015 which casts light on the eventual requirements. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is now actively applying the regulatory code to Chinaʼs registrars.

Domestic Chinese registrars are facing new scrutiny right now, and the examination and a re-approvals process will continue over the next five to six months.

Foreign registries which have not applied for Chinese market approval are advised to do so in the near term, as unapproved Top-Level Domains are likely to be taken off the market from July this year.

According to the paper .com and .net are not on the authorized list:
Many TLDs in common use in China, such as Verisignʼs .com and .net, are not in the latest list of authorized TLDs. This demonstrates that MIIT is playing catch-up with regulating the domain name market in China, which has vastly expanded due to ICANNʼs New gTLD program and the hundreds of new TLDs launching on the internet.

Aimed largely at domestic registrars, but also addressing domestic and foreign registries and the TLDs under their control, the new regulations include an examination and approval process to ensure proper observance of the government’s domain name sector requirements.

In effect as of April 2015, the process will be completed in four phases over the next five to six months: (1) “comprehensive screening and checking” which is currently underway within the registrar channel, (2) “on-site inspection,” (3) “reorganization processing,” and finally (4) “conclusive upgrading.”

Registries and registrars are required to have a “physical presence” in China FOOTNOTE 2 to achieve full compliance.

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