The mission⁄purpose of the IDN gTLD is to offer the Chinese language community a gTLD that is an in-language and localized translation of .ORG, and to promote the mainstream adoption of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).
PIR wishes to extend its stewardship of .ORG to other language communities, providing a consistent end-user experience across the IDN equivalents. PIR’s deployment of an IDN, as a mainstream and proven registry operator, will serve as an important boost to promote the adoption of IDNs, and will signal to application developers to support IDNs, which in turn leads to a better user experience and usability of IDNs.
History and Way Forward
While the content of a website can appear in any language, domain names have generally been limited to the characters used in English. Since the majority of the world speaks a language other than English, this can present a significant barrier to Internet access for many cultures.
PIR has taken the first step in supporting Non-English languages through the introduction of IDNs at the second level for .ORG. These .ORG second level IDNs include Danish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean (Hangul), Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, Cyrillic, and Chinese IDN.
These second-level IDNs, where the name (left of the dot) is in a Non-English language and the gTLD (right of the dot) remains in English, have been available for a number of years but only offer a partial solution for the language communities. Some languages, like Arabic, are written from right to left. IDNs at the second level are not very useful for the communities that use these languages because users would need to change both the type direction and script in the middle of entering a domain name. With this IDN gTLD application, we wish to provide a complete in-language domain name recognized as related to .ORG and a more elegant experience for the Internet user.
Public Interest Registry (PIR) manages .ORG, an unrestricted gTLD – the domain which has served the public interest for more than 25 years.
The Chinese IDN gTLD will be a valuable part of ICANN’s expansion consistent with guidance defined in Section 9.3 of the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC). Specifically, the Chinese IDN gTLD will promote the goals of the new gTLD round and the AoC reflected in the following ways:
• A stable launch of a new gTLD that provides registrants a clear choice with a relevant domain;
• Internet users trusting in the authenticity of an in-language IDN gTLD representing similar values of .ORG; and
• An active community involvement in the IDN gTLD, such as through PIR’s .ORG Advisory Council.
The Chinese IDN gTLD, administered in a trusted and responsible manner by PIR, will give organizations across this language community a unique, relevant, respected place on the Internet.