China on Tuesday started to allow individuals to apply for « .cn » and « .中国 » (China) domain names, said the China Internet Network Information Center, the de facto administrator of the country’s domain names.
« Any individual or organization that can carry independent civil liabilities has the right to apply for the domain registration under the implementing rules, » said CNNIC in an announcement released on Monday afternoon.
CNNIC stopped accepting individual applications for the nation’s top-level domain names in December 2009 because a large number of them were used to distribute illegal material such as pornography and gambling sites.
The Ministry of Public Security has launched a series of campaigns targeting cyber crimes since then.
« Individuals will become the major drive for the development of websites in China, » Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Qi Lin, vice-director of CNNIC. « Reopening the domain name registration right to individuals is expected to boost the openness and uniqueness of the Internet. »
The nation had about 2.3 million websites by the end of 2011, up by 20 percent year-on-year, statistics from CNNIC showed.