• United States

Korea leads internationalized domain name purchases

Feb 04, 20042 mins
Internet Service ProvidersNetworking

* Which countries are using internalized domain names?

Korean companies are leading the charge in adopting non-English language domain names, according to a recent survey from WebHosting, a market research firm that gathers statistics on domain name registrations.

Until recently, all foreign language domain names were written using English language approximations. About a year ago, the Internet Engineering Task Force approved a standard scheme for converting foreign-language characters into U.S. ASCII equivalents for transmission over the Internet’s DNS.

After extensive testing, so-called internationalized domain names (IDN) became operational in the .com and .net top-level domains in December of 2003. With IDNs, multinational corporations can create native-language Web sites to market their products in each of the countries where they do business.

Altogether, more than 380,000 IDNs have been registered in the .com and .net domains. More than a third of the IDNs – 140,000 or so – are registered to Korean companies. In contrast, U.S. companies registered around 84,000 IDNs while Japanese companies registered around 72,000.

Taken together, registrations by Korean, U.S. and Japanese companies account for 78% of all IDN registrations.

Indeed, IDNs already represent 19% of the total .com and .net domains in Korea and around 14% of the total .com and .net domains in Japan.

Although the demand for IDNs is strongest in Asia, IDNs are available in more than 350 languages. Other countries that have registered more than 10,000 IDNs each include Germany, China and Denmark.

Web Hosting conducted its survey using data from Jan. 1, 2004, when IDNs had been operational for less than a month.

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