On 25 March 2016, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (the “MIIT“) issued Draft Rules on the Administration of Internet Domain Names (“Draft“) and issued a call for comments. The Draft has raised serious concerns among the public and the international media. In this article we summarize the key changes in the Draft, and try to distinguish fact from fiction.
Overview of main changes under the Draft
The Draft regulates most aspects of the domain name system in China, and contains various provisions ranging from minimum requirements applicable to domain name registrars, to detailed rules regulating domain name registration services.
While the scope of application of the Draft is somewhat vaguely limited to domain name services “rendered within China”, the Draft applies to all top-level domains, e.g. “.cn” and “.中国”, but also “.com” and new generic top-level domain names.
The main changes under the Draft are: