Dec 13 2009

Individuals can no longer register domains with .cn TLD

Published by at 11:36 pm under China internet

.cn malware redirect

The .cn Top Level Domain has been frequently associated with malware, pornography and spamvertising.  In an apparent effort to clean up the TLD, China NIC has started requiring a business license in order to register a .cn domain.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) published a notice Sunday saying that applicants must submit written applications to the registration agents. The written materials must include an application form with an official seal, an enterprise business license and the registrant’s ID card.

In addition, the NIC will actually attempt to notify and verify individually owned .cn sites.  If a site owner doesn’t respond in after five days, the domain will be revoked.

CNNIC plans to verify the information of the owners of personal site in the nation. Those found unqualified to have a site will be required to update the information in five working days, otherwise they will be shut down.

This is an interesting development.  Clearly, something needed to be done about the .cn TLD garbage sites clogging up the tubes.  I’m not sure what this means for individual site operators though.  I’m sure it is still possible for individuals within the PRC to get a non-cn TLD and host their websites outside of the mainland.

Source: “All .cn websites require business license” – http://business.globaltimes.cn/china-economy/2009-12/491515.html – Linked from Danwei.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Individuals can no longer register domains with .cn TLD”

  1. BeatUpPrideon 14 Dec 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I did some research a while back and what I found was that “In order to promote the use of .cn domain name, China NIC gave away .cn domains in 1$ per cn price. No wonder there are so many *.cn domains related drive-by-infection(download)…

  2. Owen Fletcher (IDG)on 14 Dec 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I’m not sure CNNIC is targeting malware-hosting or other malicious domains with this move. It comes amid a multi-level crackdown on online porn in China, which seems more likely to be the goal here. Note that the CNNIC statement didn’t name its reasons.
    A local media report I saw also seemed to suggest that individuals weren’t actually allowed to register .cn domains in the first place, which would mean CNNIC is just promising to step up enforcement of rules it already has. Whether that will actually work remains to be seen. And another local media report also agrees that individuals will still have no problem registering .com domain names.

  3. jumperon 14 Dec 2009 at 11:08 pm

    @Owen – I think you’re right. The news that I have read all seems to indicate that is was intended to prevent pornography from being hosted on .cn domains. I assume that the requirement only exists in the mainland. US based domain registrars are still offering .cn domains.

  4. Barry Greeneon 15 Dec 2009 at 6:35 pm

    The “business license” requirement is not a surprise. Many of the CC-TLDs in Asia have this rule.

    But, as pointed out, we’ll need to dig to find out the real reasons for this policy change (or restatement of an old policy).

  5. Owen Fletcher (IDG)on 15 Dec 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Another related move CNNIC has taken in recent days is to criticize Xinnet, a domain registrar that has been linked to spam. See here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/184666/spamlinked_chinese_domain_registrar_caught_in_porn_cleanup.html?tk=rss_news

    All of these moves were taken after a CCTV report criticizing CNNIC over porn.

    An update on whether individuals were ever allowed to register domains: FT says that has been a legal gray area for years but individuals have always in practice been able to do it.

    Also this ban on personal domains actually looks like it’s for all domains registered in China, not just for .cn domains. At least the CNNIC statement doesn’t specify it’s for .cn.