Authorities advise foreign companies to transfer website domain names

By Ding Xuezhen Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-30 1:38:08

Authorities advised that foreign companies would do well to transfer the domain names of their websites to Chinese registers to meet the terms of a newly released draft regulation on Internet domain names.

The draft regulation released by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday raised concerns on social media over whether foreign websites with domain names that have not been registered in China will be accessible in the future.

According to the regulation, Internet domain names with access to China should be provided by domestic Internet domain name registration services, which should in turn be managed by Chinese institutions. Service providers that are not under the management of Chinese institutions cannot offer domain names with access to China.

The current document is not the final version and public opinions on it are being solicited, as many issues are still being studied, an official with the Internet division of the MIIT told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The websites of foreign government institutions like the White House and international organizations such as the United Nations will be able to be accessed within China, the official said.

According to Fang Binxing, an expert on network information security at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the draft rule means that "what you use in China must be registered to Chinese institutions" whose authoritative domain name servers are kept in China.

In this way, the regulation will enhance Internet management, as a website can be blocked "when one stops its name server from providing service for it," Fang said.

When asked how a foreign company's website with a domain name registered outside China could be accessed within the country, Fang suggested that the company should register another domain name with a Chinese institution that could also redirect to a primary Web address. He also pointed out, however, that the regulation might only be applied to websites whose servers are kept in China. "If the server of a website is located in China, its domain name will not be allowed to be registered overseas."

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