Chinese regulators have long promoted the use of Chinese-language domain names and forecast that their spread would boost Internet use in the country. But local companies seem less excited than Chinese authorities about the change.
Domains in Chinese script could appeal mainly to users who are elderly or live in rural Chinese areas, said analysts. Those are the main users that may not be used to typing Web addresses in English or in Pinyin, a phonetic spelling system often used online to replace Chinese characters with Latin ones.
Chinese Internet users are widely familiar with Latin-character domains, so big Chinese Internet companies may not need to change them. And users who are not used to typing English can visit a website via a search engine rather than directly typing its Web address, said analyst.
The ICANN decision has not yet taken effect, but Chinese regulators have already allowed local companies to register domain names that have Chinese characters throughout their names, including at the country-code level. Those domains can only be visited within China, or by computers using Chinese DNS (Domain Name System) servers.
A Chinese domain name might not make sense for some Web sites. Many Chinese companies use numbers in their domain names that are widely associated with their brands. Local portal NetEase keeps its Web site at 163.com.
Source : Konaxis