We are thrilled to announce that our two Chinese TLDs, “.在线” (Dot Chinese Online) and “.中文网” (Dot Chinese Website), passed Pre-Delegation Testing on 28 November (Thanksgiving Day in the US), and we now have a clear path to annoucing our go-live schedule!

We're proud to be bringing the essential new Chinese TLDs to the internet, so its only fitting that we introduce the TLDs according to the ancient Chinese almanac (also known as the "Farmer's Calendar). First created by eminent Chinese astrologers in the Han Dynasty, around 200BC, the almanac continues to be an important guide to life for more than a billion Chinese people around the world.

Our “trademark-owners only” Sunrise period will commence on Friday January 17, and run for 60 days, concluding on Monday March 17. Both the start and end days of Sunrise fall on highly auspicious days for “starting new businesses” in the ancient Chinese almanac.  The conclusion of the Sunrise period will be marked with a traditional ceremony in China’s capital, Beijing, on March 17. We're looking forward to that spectacular ceremony!

Following a two-day quiet period, the second stage of domain name availability – the Landrush period – will begin on Thursday March 20, which is an auspicious day for “breaking ground”. As the introduction of Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website is analogous to the opening of valuable new tracts of internet real estate in the Chinese-speaking world, starting Landrush on a lucky day for breaking ground is highly resonant in the China region. The Landrush period will be launched with a traditional ceremony and vibrant celebration in China’s Macau on March 20.  Expect a typical southern China style of celebration, complete with lion dance, firecrackers and blessings from our feng shui master!

A hybrid live and internet auction of some of the most valuable and sought-after domain names in Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website will be held in Macau one day later, on Friday 21 March. This innovative event will combine an international online auction with a full day of live auction, interesting speakers and entertainment in the most prestigous location in Macau. More information will be released soon.

The Landrush period will run through the weeklong ICANN meeting in Singapore (March 23—27) and China’s Qing Ming festival (April 4—6) and conclude on Thursday April 24. A three-day quiet period will immediately follow.

General availability of domain names in Dot Chinese Online and Dot Chinese Website will begin on Monday 28 April, 2014 (a highly auspicious date for “starting new businesses” and “grand openings”).

Minor changes to the go-live schedule may be required by ICANN, however we're confident that the milestones will be achieved on the set dates.

So, here is the the summary of key days:

  • Sunrise start - Friday 17 January (start new business)
  • Chinese New Year - Friday 31 January – Wednesday 5 February
  • Digital Marketing & New gTLD Conference NYC - Monday 3 March & Tuesday 4 March
  • Sunrise ends - Monday 17 March (start new business) / ceremony in Beijing
  • Landrush start - Thursday 20 March (breaking ground) / ceremony in Macau
  • Auction Event in Macau - Friday 21 March
  • ICANN 49 Singapore - Sunday 23 March - Thursday 27 March
  • Qing Ming holiday (China) Friday 4 April - Sunday 6 April
  • Easter (not China) - Thursday 17 April - Monday 21 April
  • Landrush end - Thursday 24 April
  • General Availability - Monday 28 April (start new business)

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our founding team, our board, our investors at Vision+, our business angel investors, our registrar partners, our back-end provider Afilias, our auction partner (to be announced tomorrow!) our many friends in the media, our many allies and the entire TLD Registry team, which works in a way that "follows the sun" from Helsinki to Oslo, New York, Austin, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Here is a link to our full media release.

Article by Arto Isokoski, CEO and Co-Founder