Weather in the sail city is always unpredictable. This morning we woke up to a fine day. When we walked up to the hill top, it was warm and sunny. The sky was really blue and dotted with white clouds. So, my wife did the laundry and hanged them out in the backyard. Few hours later, the sky suddenly turned dark, the rain came, and we had to switch on the heater. The future is always hard to predict. Isn't it the same in the domaining world? Here's the post.
June 8, 2016 (Wed)
UEFA hints at domain direction in China
A small news item got my attention. UEFA just announced that the Chinese version of its website had gone online.
What is UEFA? UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe. It runs many soccer competitions in that region. Its official website UEFA.com promotes the competitions in many languages -- including English, French, and German.
Asians love soccer games too. Of course, the website has information in Japanese for the huge crowd of Japanese fans. But, one language is missing from the UEFA website: Chinese. Chinese love soccer too, so why is it not available on the same website?
Well, not only does UEFA love China, it also has a website designed specially for the Chinese fans. The website runs on UEFA.cn.
So, here are the questions: Why is Japanese (another similar Asian language) but not Chinese available on UEFA.com? Why did UEFA make things complicated by setting up another website solely for China?
I think it has to do with the Internet censorship in China. The Great Firewall makes it very difficult for Chinese people to access information outside China. The problem will only become worse down the road.
Eventually, foreign companies serious about the Chinese market must have their domain name registered in China and their website hosted on a server located within China.
For companies using .com for their corporate site, it's unlikely they want to move their .com domain name and corporate website to China and subject to tight censorship. Instead, a better solution is to use a .cn domain name specially for the Chinese market.
UEFA shows us this direction. Their .com remains in the free world as the global brand, and .cn is used solely for the Chinese market.
This direction will also apply to other countries where citizens are not allowed to connect to the outside information world.
The implication is that ccTLD will become even more important and therefore valuable. Nevertheless, .com will remain as the global brand. It will shine even more because it symbolizes freedom.