Does TenCent’s adoption of .中国 (IDN China) domains foreshadow a boom?

TenCent just deployed a couple of Chinese IDN domains. Kassey Lee examines if this is a sign of things to come.

I was intrigued by the recent news of internet giant Tencent deploying two .中国 domains. Does it indicate a change in China and the start of a boom of launching Chinese websites complete with Chinese IDN domains?

Long time reader Moris alerted me to the recent news (in Chinese) that 腾讯.中国 (Tencent.china) and QQ.中国 (QQ.china) finally resolves after years of being inactive. The former forwards to Tencent.com and the latter to Tencent’s instant messaging platform QQ.com. The following domains were also mentioned but all of them (except 小度.中国) are used as domain forward only.

Domain Action Application
当当网电子书.中国 Forwards to DangDang.com General product portal
华大基因.中国 Forwards to BGI.com Genomic sequencing services
中国移动.中国 Forwards to ChinaMobile.com Telecom services
新華社.中国 Forwards to XinhuaNet.com News
Beijing2022.中国 Forwards to Beijing2022.cn Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
小度.中国 Active site Baidu’s Xiaodu brand smart accessories

I analyzed this extension back in July this year. After adding the latest 2020 data shown below, the picture still has not changed –- trending down after peaking at 1,895,745 domains in 2017.

Chart showing decrease in Chinese IDN domains

The recent news made me wonder whether corporate China has started to favor the .中国 extension. Since internet companies are probably most sensitive to new trends, I decided to check the Top 100 Chinese Internet Companies listed in the “Research Report on the Comprehensive Strength of Chinese Internet Companies (2020)” (in Chinese) and see if the corresponding .中国 domains are actually in use. Here is the result.

Status Count
Not resolve 86
Developed 2
Developed by 3rd parties 5
Forward 2
For sale 3
Expired 1
Parked 1

Only two .中国 domains are developed but the majority of them still do not resolve. For this reason, I don’t see any sign of a boom for .中国 domains coming soon.

On a side note, when checking a domain in your browser, be sure to test with and without the “www” prefix. Sometimes you may get a different result. For example, 滴滴.中国 (Didi.china) does not resolve with the “www” prefix added but displays contents without it.

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