By the China UA Local Initiative (CDNI)

The number of Internet users in China recently surpassed 1 billion and China now accounts for about one-fifth of all Internet users worldwide. Given this significant milestone, it was an opportune time for the China UA Local Initiative, managed by the Chinese Domain Names Initiative (CDNI) of the Internet Society of China, to conduct a recent test of Chinese Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) to measure their Universal Acceptance (UA)-readiness. UA ensures that all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be used equally by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.

The comprehensive test report was released at the 6th session of the Chinese IDN Innovation Application Forum and serves as a benchmark for evaluating the level of UA support of Chinese domain names by various domestic Internet services and applications brands. Successfully carrying out this testing gave the Chinese Internet community an opportunity to get together and discuss the status and application environment of Chinese domain names. The group plans to conduct annual testing to measure progress and identify future issues that need to be addressed.

In general, this year’s findings reveal that while there are still some deficiencies in the support of Chinese domain names, the application environment will be gradually improved with continued effort and time. Specifically, the report shows that the current overall support rate for the Universal Acceptance of Chinese domain names is 35%, which is the average percentage based on the testing conducted. In this context, “support” is defined as the ability of applications to recognize Chinese domain names with Chinese characters and to redirect links.

Applications that support Chinese domain names include:

  • Email: QQ Mailbox and Wo Mailbox
  • Search Engines: Baidu and 360
  • Browsers: QQ Browser and 360 Browser
  • Mobile Browsers: UC Browser (Android and IOS), Xiaomi, OPPO
  • Main Application Platforms: WeChat Official Account
  • SNS: Zhihu and Ding Ding
  • Short Video Platform: Kuaishou Android
  • Development Platform: WeChat Official Account

These applications are able to fully identify Chinese domain names, carry out link redirections, and search engines include Chinese domain name websites and display them normally.

The full report, including methodology and other applications tested, can be found here.

Based on these results, the group has concluded that browser support for Chinese domain names has gradually improved, which shows that browser application operators are beginning to recognize the importance of Chinese domain names. Search engine support has room for improvement, which can be addressed with additional technical support. Email systems that support Chinese email addresses are not yet common. These findings point to the need for further outreach and education among software developers, technology service providers, policymakers, educators, and business leaders in order to promote awareness of UA and encourage UA best practices – so that everyone, regardless of the language that they speak, can experience the full power of the Internet.

To learn more about the results or find out how you can contribute to building a more multilingual Internet with the UASG, get in touch.