Frequently Asked Questions


When will Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website become available?

TLD Registry signed Registrar Agreements (RAs) with ICANN for Dot Chinese Online (.在线) and Dot Chinese Website (.中文网) on September 8th, 2013, and we announced those RAs in Beijing 2 days later.

There are several key steps which must still be completed prior to the gTLDs going live -- these steps include Pre-Delegation Testing, Trademark Clearinghouse integration and delegation to the IANA root.

Like all "New gTLD" registries, we do not yet have clarity from ICANN as to exactly when these steps will begin or conclude. We are striving to achieve go-live for Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website prior to the end of calendar 2013.

What does your Chinese logo mean?

Our Chinese name, pronounced "Yu Tong Lian Da", means "Domains Connect Connect Connect", with "the three connects" sounding like "TLD". This name expresses our mission using contemporary Mandarin. All Chinese characters in our brandmark and logos are connected, as are the eight dots in our octagonal logos, symbolizing the power of our TLDs to connect Chinese netizens with the Chinese web, and to connect the world to China.

What is your variants policy?

Variants are the "equivalents" of different scripts or character sets. Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website will support both Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese characters. While we have our own view on variants policy, we will follow the ICANN policy current at the time.

Do you support all Chinese dialects and scripts?


Chinese is considered by most linguists and sinologists to be a "language family" -- Chinese consists of more than 250 spoken dialects which share a more-or-less common writing system (either the original Traditional Chinese script or the post-1949 Simplified Chinese script). Native speakers of major Chinese dialect groups are do not generally understand each others' dialects.

The dominant dialect of Chinese is Mandarin, which is spoken by about 960 million people. According to a 2007 China Ministry of Education survey, only 53% of Chinese citizens can speak Mandarin. That study found that in rural areas of China, only 45% of citizens can speak Mandarin.

Counted by numbers of native speakers, the next most common dialects after Mandarin are Wu (roughly, Shanghainese) which is spoken by about 80 million people; Yue (roughly, Cantonese) which is spoken by about 60 million people; and Min (roughly, Fujianese) which is spoken by about 50 million people.

TLD Registry's mission is to make the Chinese web more accessible and safer for all Chinese people -- not just for the 53% who speak Mandarin, or those who use the Simplified Chinese script. It is due to the extraordinary diversity of Chinese people and the languages they speak and write that we strive to make Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website useful for all Chinese, whether in China or around the world. To do anything less would be an abrogation of our responsibility to the cultural treasures that 5000 years of Chinese culture have brought to the world.

ICANN policy on exactly how the Chinese language family can work within Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website is still unclear. As Chinese internet experts, we are proactively working to provide China's three main official scripts -- Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Pinyin -- at launch time.

We'll be writing more about our Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website's mission to make the web fully-Chinese for all Chinese speakers and writers in subsequent articles.

Will fully-Chinese web addresses work with Chinese punctuation (specifically, the "Chinese dot")?  For example, 房地产。在线

Typically, yes. The Chinese dot is not a legal character in URLs (DNS servers only recognize ASCII dot) but as a convenience to Chinese users, most modern web browsers accept the Chinese dot and automatically convert it into an ASCII dot. In other words, so long as a Chinese user is in a modern browser, she doesn't need to switch her language input to your a fully Chinese web address.


Download the latest TLD Registry booklet in English (PDF)

Download the latest TLD Registry booklet in Simplified Chinese (China mainland Mandarin) (PDF)

Download the latest TLD Registry booklet in Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong Cantonese) (PDF)

Download the latest TLD Registry booklet in Traditional Chinese (Taiwan Mandarin) (PDF)


This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean, Japanese