A new domain name for China
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) deliberated the approval of a new domain name for China that will replace the current one .cn.
With more than 90% of Chinese ministries and provincial departments, and more than 95% of news websites have already made the switch to .中國 (.zhongguo), soon many countries will want to use their own languages and scripts to browse and communicate over the web, which will probably lead to translation services being more used than ever.
The first top-level domain changes
- It started with the first non-Latin top-level domain (TLD) مصر. , in 2005 for the Arabic alphabet which replaced Egypt’s previous TLD.
- After which it was also adopted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- This action was also copied by Russia with their Cyrillic TLD which is .рф.
These changes due to the new domain name are not only for China, but also for Hong Kong which gets .香港 (.hongkong) and Taiwan with both .台灣 and .台湾 (.taiwan).
Taking into consideration the percentages of internet users that chose Russian (3%) and Arabic (3.3%) languages, Chinese (24.2%) is closer to English (26.8%). China’s percentage represents 500 million people. According to Xinhua, in 2015 there will be approximately 800 million Chinese internet users. This prediction consists on the fact that:
- Between 2000 and 2011 the growth of Chinese internet use was of 1,478.7%
- The growth of English speaking users was of 301.4%
The concept of the internet being developed in the US and the invention of the World Wide Web taking place in the UK, determined the internet to be mostly in English but current trends indicate other domain names will appear soon.
These changes will unveil many more opportunities to all countries that adopt them.