As expected, new .cn domain name registrations have seen a severe drop in recent months. Based on Hosterstats data, the registered base of .cn domain names has dropped by 4 millions in the first four months of this year, to just about 8.25 millions by April 2010. Both the german (.de) and british (.uk) domain registries have now passed the .cn in terms of number of active registrations.
Several factors explain this drop:
-The new requirement to “verify ownership” of .cn domains as imposed by the CNNIC. Indeed, as we reported on our blog, .cn applicants need to fill a form and provide photo ownership and copy of business license when registering a domain. In fact the registration was not possible at all for a couple of months. These measures have led a couple of big names among registrars, both at home and abroad (including Godaddy) to drop together their .cn registration service.
-The swift from Chinese companies to register international or other countries domain name extensions. Indeed with the uncertainty pending on the .cn registration and future possible regulatory changes, nobody wants to take the risk to registering a .cn and have his/her site shut down in the future.
-The overall increase of the .cn registration price. For years .cn have been offered as very low prices. With higher prices by the CNNIC imposed recently, and the additional workload to register new domains, registrars still offering this service have in most cases have increased substantially their prices for .cn registration.