Industry denies huge domain name loss

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-06 08:48

China's domain name managers and Internet service providers refuted on Friday recent media reports about the loss of domestic domain names following the Taiwan earthquake that severed undersea cables last month.

The quake, which measured 7.2 on the Richter scale, off the southern tip of Taiwan on December 26 damaged fiber-optic cables that cross the ocean floor south of Taiwan, affecting telecommunications traffic between the mainland and Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Media reports said since the quake, the domain names of thousands of individuals and companies have become invalid or been looted because of access problems to domain name servers located abroad. The lack of access means the individuals and companies were unable to keep up with the domain leasing fees.

Chinese Internet users lost about 10,000 dotcom (.com) domain names due to disruption caused by the quake, the Beijing News reported on Friday, quoting sources from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the country's authorized domain name registration manager and administrator.

But the CNNIC denied it made the remarks when contacted by China Daily on Friday.

Liu Ningbo from HiChina Web Solutions Ltd (, China's largest domain registration service provider, said the losses are only possible in "theory" but not in "reality".

Internet users are reminded at least a month before their leased domain expires and the domain names are frozen and kept for one or two months after the expiry date, he said.

Liu said the company suspended its registration service for international domains for two days after the quake, but by December 28 it had resumed.

"People don't have to rush to pay the leasing fee," he said. "They can retrieve their domain names by resuming the leasing fee within the time limit."

Liu said that he had not seen a sudden loss of international domains since the quake.

According to CNNIC statistics, China had nearly 3 million domain names as of July, of which nearly half used .com domain and 40 percent used .cn.

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