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Old 4th July 2006, 08:55 AM
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The prospects for Chinese domain names

The prospects for Chinese domain names

By Qin Haibo
Recently, the State Council promulgated the catalog of first batch of state-level non-material cultural heritages, and altogether 518 heritages of ten categories including folk literature and folk music are included in the catalog. Meanwhile, the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage has been included in the NPC 2007 legislation agenda. It has become a common sense for people to protect the non-material cultural heritages of our nation.
However, in the catalog of first batch of state-level non-material cultural heritages promulgated by the State Council, over 80 percent of non-material cultural heritages haven't registered their domain name in the form of Chinese "Chinese name.CN" effectively. So how to create a "cultural China" on the Internet?

Chinese name.CN glorifying the Chinese culture

The Chinese language is the second largest language used on the Internet, and there have been over 130 million netizens using Chinese when exploring the Internet. In virtue of this huge Chinese netizen group, both the number of people using Chinese domain name and the influence of Chinese domain names are increasingly expanding. Experts once pointed out that "Chinese name. CN", taking the Chinese language as the carrier, could not only represent the name of cultural heritages lively but make it possible for people in every corner of the world realize the charm of Chinese culture from the internet. In the modern society where the Chinese are living all over the world, Chinese domain names, used to label "Chinese house number" on the Internet for the traditional culture, can acting as a kind of integrating signal that links the hearts of all Chinese around the world and enables them to share traditional cultural resources, thus improving national cohesion and promoting the profound Chinese culture to the world.
For instance, the government of Zigui County in Hubei Province recently opened its official website "http://端午节.CN". Chinese in every corner of the world or people who are deeply interested in the Chinese culture can have easy access to understanding the context as well as various customs of the Dragon Boat Festival when logging in "http://端午节.CN" and reaching the homepage, thus obtaining their own experience on the cultural atmosphere of the Dragon Boat Festival.
Insiders believe that domain names are fundamental resources on the Internet, on which any Internet application is relying. Just because Chinese characters enjoy their strong cultural advocating power in the Chinese world, "Chinese name.CN" is provided with excellent congenital advantages.

Right time to protect the traditional culture

Experts on Internet domain names express that Chinese name.CN, as the new generation of Internet address, is provided with unique and non-renewable properties. That is, once being registered, the same Chinese domain name can't be used again by others.
Such a property predestinates that Chinese name. CN is non-renewable to a great extent, thus being regarded as a kind of scarce resource that the registration of a new Chinese domain name means the decrease of one among the total. When the domain name resources are to be used up, it will be more difficult and take a greater price to protect them by registration by then.
Does the registration of domain names in the form of Chinese name.CN mean a success in the protection of our traditional culture on the Internet? Internet experts say that although Chinese domain names are the necessary basis for Internet applications, they must be utilized in a creative, lasting and sound way so as to really carry forward our traditional culture, thus realizing the goal of publicizing and promoting the traditional culture.
The bulletin of the State Council points out that non-material cultural heritages are the evidences of China's history and the significant carriers of the Chinese culture, containing the unique spirit value, thinking way, imagination and cultural consciousness of the Chinese nation, and embodying the vitality and creativity of the Chinese nation.
As an outcome of the rapidly developing modern technologies, the Internet is increasingly becoming an important position for protecting the traditional culture, and will play an irreplaceable role.
Just like the Dragon Boat Festival, a great many cultural heritages will not be actually protected unless they can be developed and utilized in a meaningful way.
Realizing rejuvenation through the form of "Chinese name.CN" on the Internet and shaping up a consummate system for brand protection for none-material cultural heritages on the Internet will enable non-material cultural heritages to spurt new vitality. Therefore, it is necessary to take the form of "Chinese name.CN" as a window for the traditional culture, through which more people in the world are able to understand and experience the Chinese civilization.
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