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Asian Languages Are Dot-OK

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Reposted with permission from Wired News

Asian Languages Are Dot-OK
Wired News Report

4:20 p.m. Nov. 9, 2000 PST

Some 48,000 new domain names are being registered around the world every day. Now, starting Friday, names can be registered in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, to go with the extensions dot-com, dot-net and dot-org.

Until now, these domain names were recognized only when written in Roman letters and Arabic numerals.

Calling it "the next dot-com wave," a domain-name registrar,, is urging people to sign up quickly for the Asian script names so as to beat the crowd and avoid the problems many have had with reserving domain identities in English.

International standards, which apply to the multilingual system, permit only certain types of domain-name trading. Only words in the dictionary can be bought and sold at a price. Neither brand names nor their variations can be traded.

Asia started relatively late in registering domains but is catching up rapidly. Registrations have increased by 78 percent between 1999 and 2000. said this latest development is particularly crucial for businesses in the Asian market, where customers are charged US $50 for every successful registration.

In the strictest sense, the system does not completely localize domain names to Asian regions, because the users will still need to type ".com" in Roman letters.

The company is boasting that it has the technology to snap up names for customers quickly as soon as real-time registration opens, giving it an edge over competitors.

It said it received some 50,000 applications within the first three days of the pre-registration in late October.

"An estimated 25 percent of Internet users nowadays surf only in Chinese," said a spokesperson for the company.

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Last updated: November 18, 2000 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0