Internet domain name applicants have been authorized to add their organization title before the ".cn" suffix without having to specify their organizations' categories beginning this spring.
The new rules, contained in the newly updated regulation on domain names, will take effect on March 17, 2003.
China Daily will be allowed to change its website address from www.chinadaily.com.cn to www.chinadaily.cn.
Internet official forecast the number of domain names registered with the ".cn" suffix is expected to boom as the Ministry of Information Technology eases regulations on domain name registration.
The ministry made public its new regulation yesterday with the aim to spur China's Internet development and protect its information security.
Qian Hualin with the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said the regulation is aimed to provide easier and quicker access to domain name applicants.
According to the new regulation, domain name use charges will be decided by market, instead of information authorities.
Currently, every ".cn" user is charged 300 yuan (US$36) each year.
"In general, the fee will come down," Qian said.
China made public its first regulation on domain names in 1997.
"Now the situation has changed a lot and the policy will also be adjusted," Qian added.
Domain name registration has increased steadily in China.
Statistics indicate that since the registration process is much easier in foreign countries, about 80 to 90 percent of China's users have registered their domain names with the ".com" or ".net" suffixes used abroad.
Domain names with the ".cn" suffix have grown from 4,066 in 1997 to around 126,146 by the end of June.
CNNIC Director Mao Wei estimated that about 700,000 domain names in China have registered with the ".com" or ".net" suffix.
"This is not beneficial to the future of China's information security," Mao said.
Since domain names are becoming as important an asset as trademarks and brand names, more awareness should be raised, Mao added.
Mao said the new regulation has ensured a complete mechanism for domain name management and supervision.
The Ministry of Information Technology is the highest authority supervising the sector.
(China Daily December 13, 2002)