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China may reverse citizen ban on domain registration

Too many climbing Great Firewall

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Chinese web regulators banned individual domain registration without a business license in early December, purportedly as part of a crackdown on internet smut and malware. But an official from China's Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) told the English-language newspaper ChinaDaily that the decision may be reversed — so long as measures are in place to verify an applicant's personal information.

"We are now working to check whether individual registrars' information is true, complete and accurate, and based on this we can quicken our speed at drawing up regulation on individual domain name registration," Qi Lin, assistant deputy with the CNNIC, told the publication.

The decision appears to be effort to keep citizens from wandering outside China's Great Firewall for easier registration.

"Banning domain name registrations for individual applicants will have a negative impact on the industry because the applicants can either turn to foreign registers or apply with false information," Qi said.

Three Chinese domain name registration agents — unndc.com, namerich.cn, and xinnet.com — were suspended last month over the government's allegations of lackadaisical domain granting. But too much paperwork can cause individuals to register a domain located abroad, which often needs little more than a valid email address. ®

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