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China's .cn Now the Second Most Popular TLD 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-the-merrier dept.
darthcamaro writes "In case you needed further proof of China's breakneck pace of growth on the web, InternetNews is reporting on data from Verisign that the .cn Top Level Domain (TLD) has now become the second biggest TLD worldwide, surpassing Germany's .de and second only to .com. The number of .cn sites grew by 76 percent in 2008, which is significantly more growth than .com and .net, which only grew by 16 percent combined. A graph in the Verisign report (PDF) shows how quickly China's internet presence has grown in the past two years."
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China's .cn Now the Second Most Popular TLD

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  • Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by orudge (458780)

    That'll be all the nice cheap phishing domains.

    • by Divebus (860563)

      That explains the uptick in spam.

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @04:31PM (#26023517)
        Maybe the uptick in everything. Checked your logs recently?

        I know they could be spoofed, but I used to get scanned constantly by various IPs in China. I doubt those are any kind of friendly port scans.

        One nice thing, though. I recently updated my DSL modem's firmware which gave me the option to drop ICMP requests. Now that my IP address no longer pings, the port scans from China have stopped - or at least have for now.
        • by Divebus (860563)

          Yes... a month ago, my mail server was attracting 750,000 pieces of spam per week until I blocked five groups of addresses based on the logged sources - they get no answer from the server. It's down to about 150,000 attempts per week now. Two blocks were APNIC and three were RIPE:

          • 77.0.0.0 - 89.255.255.255 (61,300/wk - RIPE)
          • 90.0.0.0 - 95.255.255.255 (7,100/wk - RIPE)
          • 202.0.0.0 - 203.255.255.255 (26,000/wk - APNIC)
          • 210.0.0.0 - 213.255.255.255 (40,700/wk - APNIC)
          • 217.0.0.0 - 222.255.255.255 (18,500/wk - RIPE)

          Now

          • by xaxa (988988)

            Hmm... those ranges include all three IPs I know (mine, my parents', my server's). And my ISP's mail server.

            (But maybe you are 100% sure you don't want any mail at all from a big chunk of western Europe, since that's what you seem to have blocked.)

    • Need to choose words more carefully, editor. Just because something is common, doesn't mean it's popular (which implies something is liked, admired.)

      Spam and phishing is very common, but it's not popular. And it frequently comes from .cn domains.

  • ok, I dind't bother to RTFA, so, any guesses of how many of these domains come from domain squatting/parking?
  • yes we cn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07, 2008 @02:50PM (#26022477)

    yes we cn.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @02:57PM (#26022539)

    Seeing as how .com is international?

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:00PM (#26022573) Homepage

    ... given the volume of clearly throw away domains in ".cn" consisting of five or six random letters for domain and subdomain being used to spam replica jewelry, pills and porn I've been seeing for the last few months. It might well be the world's second most popular .TLD, but it's also quite probably the world's biggest virtual sewer as well.

    I wonder where it would rank if countries saw their ccTLDs in a similar vein to the more tangible aspects of their country like cities, natural features and the like. I'm pretty sure we'd see a little more care being taken to prevent such obvious abuses of ccTLD registration processes for a start...

    • I second that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by houstonbofh (602064)

      ... given the volume of clearly throw away domains in ".cn" consisting of five or six random letters for domain and subdomain being used to spam replica jewelry, pills and porn I've been seeing for the last few months. It might well be the world's second most popular .TLD, but it's also quite probably the world's biggest virtual sewer as well.

      I wonder where it would rank if countries saw their ccTLDs in a similar vein to the more tangible aspects of their country like cities, natural features and the like. I'm pretty sure we'd see a little more care being taken to prevent such obvious abuses of ccTLD registration processes for a start...

      But how can you tell if the yrtdvdvhwg.cn is a random phishing site, or an ASCI representation of Chinese characters? I am sure that the .cn domain is heavily represented by both.

      • by tepples (727027)

        But how can you tell if the yrtdvdvhwg.cn is a random phishing site, or an ASCI representation of Chinese characters?

        By process of elimination. I know of two "ASCII representations of Chinese characters": domain names in Hanyu pinyin [wikipedia.org] and internationalized domain names [wikipedia.org]. It doesn't look like pinyin, and IDNs always start with the four ASCII characters "xn--".

        • What about stroke-based representations of Chinese characters like the Wubi Xing method, where the individual strokes in a character are inputted using the keys on a Latin keyboard? Then a seemingly random string like "yrtdv.cn" could actually be the input code for some Chinese character.
    • The explanation is simple, the investors are trying to buy all short .cn domain names up to 5 letters. Chinese ones.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:00PM (#26022579)
    è±èçZåoeæ#2åoeä'è"ç½'çsåsæç"é"åæçsèèï¼OEåoeæ±èäåZã

    As well, English is now the #2 most widely used language on the Internet, behind Chinese.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I know it is a debattable idea but to measure this, I would check the number of wikipedia articles in the various language. I think it gives an idea about how much people contribute to Internet in the various languages of the global village.
      • This measurement is definitely very debatable. I for one am not a native English speaker but do only read the English Wiki. And I know I'm not the only one over here who does that.

  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wmbetts (1306001) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:07PM (#26022633)
    I wonder what the ratio of phishing to legitimate sites is.
    • by carlzum (832868)
      McAfee wrote an article called Mapping the Mail Web [siteadvisor.com] and found China's ccTLD was abused more than most. Of course this looked at email scams and it was before the spike in registrations. I suspect the recent increase in .cn sites hasn't improved the situation.
  • While I'm sure that most of the growth is largely due to actual Chinese sites, it should be noted that anyone can buy .cn names, and some places offer them for as little as $1.99 for the first year. I should know because I purchased 350 of them this year to try and target various competitive terms in the search engines. In short, a lot of the money that webmasters spent on shitty .info names is now being spent on .cn names instead, and that shouldn't be overlooked.
  • Forgive my ignorance, but is there such a thing as a Unicode TLD? Like instead of the Western characters "cn", is there something that's rendered in Chinese characters for a fully Chinese domain name?
  • Chinese telecom infrastructure and investment may not be up to scale of US pre-dotcom bubble era, but this bubble is just another repeat waiting to happen.

    Calling in "Re-Run", 'cause it's gonna be DY-NO-MITE!

  • It does have just two characters... nice....
    • by v1 (525388)

      sort of like having a short domain name prefix

      Most are parked with typo magnet type pages:
      yes.com [yes.com]
      no.com [no.com]

      a few are borderline, actually having something of a topic:

      go.com [go.com]

      And only a very few actually have a purpose:

      me.com [me.com] (how did they get that?)

      Because everyone thinks of "nisson" when they see "Z" (Z [z.com])

      Hey this is kinda fun.

      Paypal of course reminds everyone of "X" (X [x.com]) Makes you seriously wonder if it's legit doesn't it?

      OK found one that makes sense. Say Q for Qwest! (Q [q.com])

      And for reasons I cannot begin to fath

      • by Ambvai (1106941)
        Well. The Z makes sense-- it's the page for the Nissan Z. Not that it's a link that inherently leaps to the mind, but if I was actually interested in the car, it's a page that's easy to remember.
      • by Kalriath (849904) *

        Actually, it's because ICANN has reserved a.com through z.com, with the three existing ones only being there because they were grandfathered in.

      • Paypal of course reminds everyone of "X" (X [x.com]) Makes you seriously wonder if it's legit doesn't it?

        I type x.com into English Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and it gives me PayPal. It turns out that X.com Corp., an online bank, bought PayPal's then-parent company [wikipedia.org] after about half a year of operation. The combined company ended up dropping the "X.com" brand in favor of "PayPal" when marketing discovered potential pr0nographic connotations of "X.com".

  • I have never saw one guaranteeing a "substantial growth" of my TLD.

    Although, comparing penis size, to TLD size, does seem somewhat appropriate.

  • by lothar97 (768215) <owen@@@smigelski...org> on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:56PM (#26023161) Homepage Journal
    I am in-house counsel with a U.S. based company that has a large presence in China. We have a large number of domain names and trademarks in China (in English and in Chinese), and our brands are big on the Internet there. I review our domain name watch service reports, which monitors newly registered and renewed domain names worldwide- including .cn.

    By far the largest amount of similar domain names I see in the report is .cn, and most of those are typosquatted domain names. If our trademark is WIDGET, then I see wodget.cn, widgit.cn, wiidget.cn, etc. A large number of the Internet users in China use pinyin (writing Chinese words with Latin characters) than Chinese character when online (e.g. writing "zhong guo" for China instead of the Chinese characters).

    My hunch is that with so many people in China typing with letters which they may not be completely familiar (and where there may be different ways to transliterate from Chinese to pinyin), there is a large number of people who make mistakes when directly navigating to domain names. I do not see these typosquatted domains showing up in search engine results, but I do see a large number of them being renewed (and thus they are generating a large enough pay per click revenue to be reregistered.)

    It gives me a lot more work to do to monitor these. We don't really file the .cn UDRP equivalent, because there are literally hundreds of these domain names out there. I thus suspect that the large number of .cn domain names are for typosquatted domains for known domains, and not for actual legitimate commercial/personal use.

    • typosquatting is pretty scummy, but as long as they stay out of search engines and aren't distributing malware it's not that bad. what's really annoying to me is when people in China/Hong Kong or Japan squat/steal correctly spelled domains that they have absolutely no use for.

      i work at an indie metal label. most of our bands are black metal, death metal, grindcore, (old school) punk rock, etc. our bands aren't at all mainstream (most of the music is just comprised of a lot of angry incoherent screaming), so

  • Spammer's haven, too (Score:3, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday December 07, 2008 @04:07PM (#26023271) Homepage Journal
    While people mentioned the phishing implications, the spamming importance of the .cn domain should not be overlooked either. I know I am not the only person who has seen a lot of spam on behalf of .cn domains, and I would say the WHOIS data is part of the reason why. For example, look at abcde.cn:

    > whois abcde.cn
    Domain Name: abcde.cn
    ROID: 20030311s10001s00024435-cn
    Domain Status: ok
    Registrant Organization: æ±åÂÃ¥ÂååÂææéåÂÃ¥Â
    Registrant Name: ÃÂæÂÂå¥
    Administrative Email: domain@abcde.cn
    Sponsoring Registrar: Ã¥ÃÂÂæÂýÃÂÃÃÂææéåÂÃ¥Â
    Name Server:ns1.dns.com.cn
    Name Server:ns2.dns.com.cn
    Registration Date: 2003-03-17 12:20
    Expiration Date: 2010-03-17 12:48

    Now how on earth does one contact the owner - or more importantly - the registrar of this domain? Even if you can make sense of the unicode, that is no guarantee that you'll find someone to talk to about this domain.

    disclaimer I chose this domain at random, it may or may not be spamvertised or in any way evil.

    In contrast, look at the same domain in a .com:

    Registrant:
    Yinan Wang
    Apartment 127
    51 Whitworth Street West
    Manchester, Lancashire M15EA
    United Kingdom

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc.
    (http://www.godaddy.com)

    So if you were someone looking to set up a spamvertised site to sell discount v!@gra, herbal supplements, knock-off watches, designer shoes, counterfeit handbags, and/or pirated software, which system would you choose for your domain registration information?

    • by lothar97 (768215)

      While people mentioned the phishing implications, the spamming importance of the .cn domain should not be overlooked either. I know I am not the only person who has seen a lot of spam on behalf of .cn domains, and I would say the WHOIS data is part of the reason why. For example, look at abcde.cn:

      > whois abcde.cn Domain Name: abcde.cn ROID: 20030311s10001s00024435-cn Domain Status: ok Registrant Organization: æ±åÂÃ¥ÂååÂææéåÂå Registrant Name: ÃÂæÂÂå¥ Administrative Email: domain@abcde.cn Sponsoring Registrar: Ã¥ÃÂÂæÂýÃÂÃÃÂææéåÂå Name Server:ns1.dns.com.cn Name Server:ns2.dns.com.cn Registration Date: 2003-03-17 12:20 Expiration Date: 2010-03-17 12:48

      Now how on earth does one contact the owner - or more importantly - the registrar of this domain? Even if you can make sense of the unicode, that is no guarantee that you'll find someone to talk to about this domain.

      Try a different whois service. A registrant certainly has the right to register .cn domain names and provide only Chinese characters, without having to convert to Latin characters (which they may not know). Try: http://whois.domaintools.com/abcde.cn [domaintools.com]

      • A registrant certainly has the right to register .cn domain names and provide only Chinese characters, without having to convert to Latin characters (which they may not know)

        Which is exactly my point. A spammer can register a domain in .cn, then host a site in English in that .cn domain, and spamvertise for it in English as well. But because it is from a .cn domain, the spammer has no obligation to provide sensible contact information in English.

        I don't oppose the Chinese doing registrations in their TLD in their own language. Rather, I want to point out that their ability to do so is an opportunity that spammers can and will exploit to conceal their own identities.

        • by level4 (1002199)

          I don't oppose the Chinese doing registrations in their TLD in their own language. Rather, I want to point out that their ability to do so is an opportunity that spammers can and will exploit to conceal their own identities.

          Huh? That's how their names are written. And you wouldn't be able to communicate anyway. Go find a Chinese speaker, it's not exactly hard.

          And in case you haven't noticed, spammers just use fake names - when they register domains at all, that is. So what's the difference?

          You better get used to seeing Chinese characters around, by the way, with no effort being made to transcribe to english-equivalent. There's a lot more of them than there are us. Why should they bother?

    • If you are using Windows XP, by default you should be able to read REAL Chinese characters instead of the one you listed. (No, those are NOT Chinese characters.) Try websites like yahoo.com.cn and see if you can see legit characters.

      If you can, that means something wrong with the WHOIS database that you are using. Try a different one.

  • Makes for interesting reading... even if it is Verisign's! I would have thought China would take a more proactive role in monitoring its domain names, especially being such a closed and censored country.

    I've had to register some pretty interesting domains in the past; some country level registrars will make you jump through exorbitant amount of hoops before processing your application while others will simply refuse unless you can prove physical residency.

    It does make you wonder whether China has fallen int

  • Once upon a time the Dutch [nationmaster.com] had a unique connection to the -then- internet, we were the first [godfatherof.nl] outside of the USofA.

    This was at a time the USSR [godfatherof.nl] and China were still very People-minded and refused to even think of such connections.

    Maybe the subject of today has something to do with the size of the population [nationmaster.com] ?
    • I don't get what's insulting about this. They just said .cn is currently the 2nd most popular ... nobody said it was the first.
      • by Teun (17872)
        There isn't.
        Just my failed attempt at humor, I wanted to show how relative these numbers are, especially when time (history) is a factor.
        • Well, it's true that the article is little more than another way of saying "damn, China is HUGE!"

          And you're right, that's just not news at all.

          Whoever modded you "flamebait" really squandered their mod point, lol.

  • In english "Popular" can imply being "well liked" or "favored". I think that most /. readers are probably upset at the notion that .cn is well liked or favored for any other reason than being a cheap haven for phishing, spam and un-registered domain names.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      Popular is a subjective term, though. Anyone with a sufficient knowledge of English to know that "popular" means "well liked" or "favoured" will also have a sufficient grasp of the language to see that those words are obviously true for the registration aspect - large numbers of spammers like and favour .cn domains as a cheap, easy and probably uncontrolled way to get a disposable domain.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @09:13PM (#26026037)

    When you have people globally registering garbled crap names for domains in the almost infinite TLD namespace, what's the point in throwing statistics like this out there?

    Besides, I really didn't know this was a race. Hell, if you want to see a TLD race to the top of the list, allow .xxx out there...

  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @09:15PM (#26026049) Homepage Journal

    China is the #2 source of spam and crap, after .RU (Russia) domain. Higher even than Slovenia.

    For all the complaints about the Great Firewall of China, I believe we need a Great Firewall FROM China. I call for blocking most if not all unauthenticated traffic from .CN

    If they don't like it, so sorry.

  • if there were actual private ownership therein. Hell, they can come up with all-sorts-of-random-crap.cn and wow, they're wickedly huge now.

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