Chinese, Russian, Arabic language web addresses coming

Oct 23, 2013
Akram Atallah, president of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Generic Domains Division, on April 14, 2011

The first-ever non-Latin language website address domains are on their way, the Internet's overlords said Wednesday.

Online domains in which website addresses would end with words in Chinese, Russian, or Cyrillic have been approved according to the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

"It's happening - the biggest change to the Internet since its inception," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division.

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined."

Online neighborhoods with addresses ending in the Chinese word for "game;" the Arabic word for "web" or "network," or the Cyrillic words for "cite" and "online," have been cleared and more should quickly follow suit, ICANN said.

"They are all IDNs, scripts that are different from the Latin script, basically," Atallah said.

"One of the goals of the program is to promote choice and diversity in the (top level domain) space."

Top level domains have historically been English language terms such as ".com" or ".gov."

Those cleared to manage new domains must now give companies or organizations with trademark claims the first chance at registering website addresses.

The "sunrise" period should be over in about 60 days and the domains open for anyone to register websites with registrars that essentially act as domain name wholesalers, according to ICANN.

The change naming "greater " is expected to expand the number from fewer than two dozen to more than a thousand.

ICANN is considering more than 1,800 requests for new web address endings, ranging from the general such as ".shop" to the highly specialized like ".motorcycles."

Many of the requests are from large companies such as Apple, Mitsubishi and IBM—with Internet giant Google alone applying for more than 100, including .google, .YouTube, and .lol—Internet slang for "laugh out loud."

California-based ICANN says the huge expansion of the Internet, with some two billion users around the world, half of them in Asia, means new names are essential.

There are currently just 22 gTLDs, of which .com and .net comprise the lion's share of online addresses.

Explore further: Supreme Court allows challenge to Colorado Internet tax law

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Authors oppose Amazon control of .book websites

Mar 11, 2013

Groups representing US authors and publishers called Monday on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to deny online retailer Amazon exclusive rights to websites ending with .book, .author, ...

Website address 'revolution' on hold

Apr 27, 2012

The Internet domain name "revolution" was on hold Friday due to a flaw that let some aspiring applicants peek at unauthorized information at the registration website.

Website address 'revolution' back in motion

May 22, 2012

The Internet domain name "revolution" was back in action on Tuesday with the agency in charge of website addresses once again taking applications for online neighborhoods breaking the ".com" mold.

Recommended for you

Supreme Court allows challenge to Colorado Internet tax law

5 hours ago

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that federal courts can hear a dispute over Colorado's Internet tax law. One justice suggested it was time to reconsider the ban on state collection of sales taxes from companies outside ...

Clinton used personal email account as Secretary of State

9 hours ago

Hillary Rodham Clinton used a personal email account during her time as secretary of state, rather than a government-issued email address, potentially hampering efforts to archive official government documents ...

Twitter working with probe on online threats

Mar 02, 2015

Twitter said Monday it was working with law enforcement officials on unspecified threats, amid reports that the social network had been targeted for blocking accounts linked to the Islamic State.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.