China May Re-Open Up .cn Registrations for Individuals

After a ban was instituted last month

China's web isn't getting more open any time soon, even with Google's ultimatum, but the officials are now backing off on a restrictive measure implemented last month, which prevented individuals inside China from registering .cn domains. Regulators are now saying they will open up registrations once again as the alternative, people registering international domain names like .com, was even worse than the 'problem' the block addressed.

Last month, China blocked all new domain name registrations by individuals, supposedly in an effort to crack down on Internet 'adult content' and malware, which is Chinese government talk for anything they don't like, especially political content. The Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the organization which handles registrations for the .cn domain name told China Daily that the organization was creating a new set of regulations to allow individuals to get .cn domains again.

"We are now working to check whether individual registrars' information is true, complete and accurate, and based on this we can quicken our speed in drawing up the regulation on individual domain name registration," Qi Lin, assistant deputy from CNNIC said. "Banning domain name registrations for individual applicants will have a negative impact on the industry because the applicants can either turn to foreign registers or apply with false information," Qi said.

The organization moved to block .cn registration after a program aired on the state-run China Central Television exposing how many '.cn' websites were a hotbed of unsavory material corrupting China's youth. The CNNIC took voluntary action, as most companies and organizations do in China, and only allowed businesses to register .cn domains.

The move seems to have backfired, or at least failed to work as intended, as more and more people were driven to get .com domains which are relatively cheap and don't require any of the formalities and paper-work that .cn domains do. As such, the organization is now looking at ways by which it can adjust the registration process to serve both ends. In a separate move, the CNNIC also banned all registrations of .cn domains from foreign individuals or companies.

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