The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continued to show progress with their new gTLD program by signing registry agreements with eighteen new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) over the last fortnight.

The list includes Chinese language extensions as well as gTLDs such as .bike, .clothing, .singles and .voyage.

Entrepreneurs from Finland announced character-based internet domain names in the Chinese equivalents of “.online” and “.Chinese language website” will be available worldwide in coming months. Commonly known as internationalized domain names (IDNs), the registry agreements were signed during a ceremony held in Beijing.

Finnish prime minister Jyrki Katainen, who received the news during his five-day official visit in China in support of Finnish industry, said: “It is reasonable to expect that this innovation made real by entrepreneurs from Finland will bring tremendous, long-term benefits for China’s internet users. Bridging the last gap in a fully Chinese web is a milestone achievement and it will be remembered.”

The contract, which was signed by TLD Registry’s chairman Taneli Tikka, formally approves the company’s Chinese top level domains by ICANN.

Mr Tikka said the new domain names will bring long term benefits to millions of internet users in China and will strengthen Chinese consumer protections against internet scams.

ICANN is moving forward with the remaining milestones of the new (gTLD) program and anticipates some of these gTLDs, including those in Chinese, to launch later this year.

ICANN updates list of gTLD registry agreements
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