ICANN Approves Chinese Character Domain Names

ICANN has approved the creation of domains that only use Chinese characters.

The inclusion of Chinese characters in web domain names is a part of ICANN's initiative to create internationalised domain names from languages that don't use Latin characters.

The organisation said that internet companies in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong will soon be able to issue Chinese domain names to people and organisations.

The announcement was made during the 38 annual ICANN conference in Brussels.

In a statement, ICANN head Rod Beckstrom, said: “One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people.”

He also reported that IDNs for 20 other international languages are in the process of being created and will include support for Thai and Tamil characters.

Statics show that 60 per cent of all internet users do not speak English as their first language, but still it is the dominant language on the web. ICANN hope that by introducing internationalised domain names this contradiction will be addressed.