Domain name scare for .com users

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-31 09:23

Thousands of Chinese Websites registered overseas could lose their domain names next year because they cannot extend their services after the Taiwan earthquake that severed undersea communication cables.

Several domain name operators said on their Websites yesterday that ".com" services, which need to connect to the United States servers to work, will be virtually offline until the undersea cables are repaired.

Affected operators include, and, which are all major ".com" domain name service providers in China.

"We can't expand our domain name usage period in the new year so we will lose it if a foreign rival registers it at the beginning of 2007," said a domain name user who declined to be identified.

An earthquake off the coast of Taiwan on Tuesday night severed a number of important telecommunication cables linking Asia to the US.

The Internet connection between China and the US is expected to be fully restored in two weeks, carriers said.

China Telecom and China Netcom said almost all international call services and 15 percent of overseas-oriented Internet services had been restored.

However, they added that the China-US Internet connection was still jammed and barely functioning.

China's own domain name operation system, which ends with ".cn," was not affected, according to a statement from the China Internet Network Information Center, a state-level Internet domain name regulator.

"The services rooted in China are more reliable obviously after the accident," said Lu Bowang, an independent Internet observer.

MSN, Microsoft's online chat program, was still not working yesterday. MSN has no servers in China, except a few for its mobile phone version. The service has 15 million users in China.

Shenzhen-based Tencent's chat program, QQ, is unaffected.

Some overseas-based anti-virus programs, including ones developed by Symantec and Trend, were unable to connect to their home servers to update virus definitions.


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