ICANN: China Not Forming New Internet

Initial reports that China may have been attempting to split off the Internet by creating its own Chinese-language top level domains now appear to be untrue. A spokeperson for China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said that the country has no intention of creating its own root servers, or breaking away from the global Internet.

The misunderstanding was caused by an inaccurate report in the English version of the state run People's Daily Online. The report, which was somewhat ambigious, gave the impression that pre-existing work being done under the .cn domain name was being done as a top-level domain to replace .com and .net.

China has had a system of Chinese character domain names under their approved top-level domain for the past four years, the CNNIC said. According to both ICANN and the CNNIC, the only change was the addition of a Chinese-language ".mil" domain under the ".cn" root.


The adjustments were made to bring the country's domain names into agreement with an article in a government decree known as the China Internet Domain Names Regulations.

The reason why the incorrect report may have been picked up so quickly by Western journalists was rather simple. After the Bush administration was successful in keeping control of the ICANN last year, rumors began to circulate of plans by disenchanted countries to break away from the global network.

China was one of those countries that objected to continued United States rule over the ICANN body that governs the Internet, instead supporting a plan to have the United Nations assume control of the organization.

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