Yesterday was the watershed moment in the history of .com in China. Almost every Chinese news outlet reported that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) had approved Verisign as the registry for .com and .net in China. Unfortunately, no link to the source of the announcement was included.
After looking around for a while, I found the source on MIIT’s website but was surprised by one thing: it was actually dated April 5, 2016. Is it possible no one got hold of this important news for four months? No, it’s most likely a mistake on the part of MIIT. The hint is in the title which says “up to July, 2016” (截至2016年7月).
The announcement indicates that the approval is limited to .com and .net only. In other words, Verisign’s .name as well as the newly acquired .web extensions are not approved yet. However, I don’t see any difficulty in their approval in the future.
This announcement assures us that .com’s future is secure, which is vital for Verisign. China contributes to 62% of growth in the .com extension, as well as the largest share (more than 40%) of the new extension market. In other words, whether its the traditional or new domain extension market, China is one of the most important players — if not the most important one.
Looking at the list, we know Verisign is the 15th and the first foreign registry to be granted this status in China. Verisign’s local partner Teleinfo involved in the MIIT application also reportedly decided to share details of the application process including patents and technical standards. This will definitely help other foreign registries to speed up their own application to MIIT.
What does it mean? I think .com’s position as the most prestigious extension in China will not change. In addition, many new extensions from foreign registries such as .club will flourish too. And China will continue to be an important market for domain investors as well professionals in the domain industry to watch.