According to news from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) on May 28th, new regulations on .cn domain registration will take effect on May 29th 2012, which makes .cn domains available to individuals registrants again.
CN domains have been experiencing ups and downs over the past several years. In 2008, the total number of .cn domains was 13.57 million, the second largest globally, only after .com domains.
Due to loose administration from CNNIC before 2009, the market price of .cn domains was only between 1 to 3 RMB. In 2009, to fight “abusive registration of .cn domain names”, CNNIC suspended .cn domain registration to individuals and .cn domains became only available to enterprises with valid business licenses issued by the Chinese government. During that time, individual.cn domain owners were asked to submit digital copies of their ID cards, and many of the .cn domains were compulsively frozen or cancelled.
By the end of 2011, the total number of .cn domains had decreased to 3.5 million, and total number of websites in China dropped from 2.87 million in 2008 to 1.83 million by the end of 2011.
To avoid the unnecessary trouble and potential risks, Chinese enterprises and webmasters has turned to overseas domain registrars like Godaddy and Name.com. Godaddy has even added Alipay as one of their payment methods to make it easier for their Chinese customers to purchase domains or other services from them.
One of the common questions many clients come to us with is if they need .cn domains for their Chinese websites. Our answer has never changed: No, even when .cn domains were as cheap as only 3 RMB yuan.
We don’t recommend you to use .cn domains for your company because:
1. Domains should be the property of yourself or your company and you should have full control over them, which you are not able to achieve with Chinese registrars;
2. CN domains don’t give you any extra benefits when it comes to SEO, user experience or even branding.
Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.
Common ones are the best – .com, .net or .org.
For SEO purpose, avoid using discounted domains such as .info or free domains like .tk and .co.cc, just in case domain extensions like that have or will become a signal search engines take to cluster low quality websites.
If you have other questions on Chinese domain registration, feel free to leave a comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org