As of February 10 2017, TLD Registry has secured one of the most vital pieces to running a successful domain business in China: full accreditation with the state agency of the Chinese government that regulates the Internet from within China - The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

This is huge news for the company, and the MIIT accreditation means big changes for how .在线 (Dot Chinese Online) and .中文网 and (Dot Chinese Website) are marketed, sold, and used in China.

See below for some quick facts on what the accreditation means for TLD Registry:

What Does This MIIT Accreditation Mean?

Becoming accredited with MIIT effectively means that .在线 (Dot Chinese Online) and .中文网 and (Dot Chinese Website), the domain extensions that TLD Registry fully owns and operates, are now legally recognized extensions by the state agency of the Chinese government that regulates the Internet from within China.

What Does “Legally Recognized” Mean?

In China, if an individual or organization wishes to set up and host a website from China’s mainland, they must first acquire an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license from MIIT, which appears in the footer area of the front page of the website

The ICP license is only issued by Chinese regulators after verifying that the website will be hosted in China, will operate using one of the currently 30 legal domain extensions, as well as other forms of submitted documentation about the website owner and company.

In theory, someone might be able to register a name in a “non-legal” domain extension and attempt to host a website associated with that name from within China, however since the “non-legal” domain extension would not include the ICP license, the Registrant’s website could result in MIIT taking action against them, which could include blocking their website(s) from resolving at any time without notice.

How Does This Affect Chinese Netizens?

Now that .在线 and .中文网 are legally recognized extensions by MIIT, Chinese netizens have an additional option to the 30 other legal extensions to use and set up a website for personal, business, or any other purpose that suits them, without the fear of their website getting blocked or shutdown without notification. In other words, Chinese netizens can now acquire an ICP license, set up their website using a .在线 or .中文网 extension, and use it legally for any online venture they wish to pursue.

Not only does the new legal status of .在线 and .中文网 give Chinese netizens a stress-free and legal alternative to a crowded marketplace of domain extensions, but the ability to set up and use a website using a domain extension that’s in their own native language immediately establishes trust and credibility within China.

How Does This Affect Registrars?

For Chinese-specific Registrars, the newly acquired accreditation immediately places .在线 and .中文网 in a competitive position within the marketplace of just 30 other legally recognized domain extensions in China. Now that .在线 and .中文网 are legally recognized in China and are Chinese script extensions, Chinese Registrars should begin to see a rise in traffic and registration numbers for these domains, as they are trusted, credible, and in a language that is native to the primary consumer base.

The accreditation additionally provides further optimism for the future of Chinese internationalized domain names and how they are viewed by Chinese regulators.

For non-China based Registrars, there is no direct impact to the purchase process because of the accreditation. However, .在线 and .中文网 may garner significant attention and subsequent sales from investors and Chinese netizens, so Registrars should be prepared to accommodate an uptick in registration numbers, with some traffic coming from within China as well.

How Does This Affect Domain Investors?

Legally recognized domain names in China certainly provides opportunity to increase values of them both in the short and long term. Domain investors now have a unique opportunity to register .在线 and .中文网 domain names at excellent prices, and hold and/or resell them while these now-legal, trusted, and credible extensions gather momentum and offer possibilities to rise in value.

​There may be no better time than right now to invest in a digital commodity that has been approved by Chinese regulators, are completely legal in China, and is in a language that makes sense to nearly a quarter of all humanity and the largest e-commerce market in the world.

Learn more about the value of Chinese domains for investors here.

How Does This Affect Brands and Businesses?

The themes associated with the accreditation are legality, trust, credibility, and linguistic correctness. These themes are why brands and businesses, both Chinese and international, should seriously consider using .在线 and .中文网 domains now that they are legally recognized.

There are many reasons why Chinese domains are good for brands and businesses, and we’ve covered these extensively in our blog, on social media, and in other marketing programs.

These reasons are:

  • Establishing a website or service with a fully Chinese domain name shows commitment to Chinese audiences -- consumers, customers, partners, the media, and government regulators. It tangibly demonstrates your desire to offer a completely Chinese information service.
  • No English whatsoever stands between your brand and the consumer.
  • Your fully-Chinese web address eliminates the cognitive dissonance between your URL and your localized Chinese brand name.
  • Your URLs will be much, much more memorable.
  • You will enjoy enhanced brand protection for your localized Chinese brand names.
  • Your site's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can  be enhanced, because your URLs will perfectly match your localized Chinese brand names and messages.
  • Fully-Chinese URLs greatly help consumer protections against phishing attacks. Chinese netizens (and China's government) favor fully-Chinese web addresses because Chinese netizens are more easily able to spot phishing URLs when they're in Chinese.
  • Fully-Chinese URLs accelerate the uptake of the Chinese web for new netizens, with particularly good ease of use for rural people and cashed-up "silver surfers" (senior citizens).
  • Entering fully-Chinese web addresses on smartphones, tablets and Windows 8 PCs (using ubiquitous Chinese handwriting recognition) is much easier and faster than typing English web addresses.
  • Powerful new promotional opportunities are created with the launch of your fully-Chinese domain names. Publicity opportunities abound for new site launches or re-launches.
  • Meaningful sentences can be composed in the very compact and concise Chinese language, creating rich URLs which marketers will discover new uses for.
  • Utilize email with fully-Chinese domains. Progress toward Universal Acceptance (UA) is being made as more and more email service providers are recognizing and implementing fully-Chinese email address options due to the considerable demand. With additional IDN email support, Chinese netizens now have the opportunity to set up and utilize a Chinese email address using a full, or partial, Chinese IDN.

Click here for a more in-depth look at our reasons.

​​We couldn’t be more excited about the accreditation of .在线 and .中文网. We expect big changes in the coming months and we are happy to now legally serve a Chinese-speaking population of 1.4 billion people and the largest e-commerce market in the world.

If you have any further questions regarding the MIIT accreditation, how it affects you, and what this means for the future, please contact Mitch Watkins at mitch.watkins@internetregistry.info and he will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

View the official press release here: TLD Reigstry MIIT Accreditation Press Release