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ICANN Approves the First Generic Top-Level Domains--and They're Non-English

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is currently busy deciding the future of the internet in Durban, South Africa, this week. First on its list: non-English generic top level domains.

According to ICANN, a new set of four domains names "mark the first time that people will be able to access and type in a website address for generic Top-Level Domains in their native language." So, while you might be familiar with domains like ".com" and ".gov", the first four generic top-level domains to join that raft are a little unusual:

  • .شبكة (Arabic for "Web")
  • .游戏 (Chinese for "Game")
  • .онлайн (Russian for "Online")
  • .сайт (Russian for "Web site")

Agreements signing the non-English domains into being were signed yesterday. There still hangs a rather large question mark over some of the more controversial generic top level domains, though: Will Google Will Amazon get, err, .amazon?


Apparently an hour-long ICANN meeting ultimately saw the ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee unanimously recommend to ICANN that it reject .Amazon because of the geographical objections. It remains to be seen if the ICANN board will take that advice or ignore it—but the the prospects don't look great. [ICANN via Verge]


Image by nrkbeta under Creative Commons license