China revamping its Internet Domain Name System

As of March 1, 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry is offering 4 country code domains. It already has the standard English character .cn country code domain, and will now be adding 3 domains with Chinese characters: .China, .net, and .com.  That means, even though they are in Chinese characters, they are in effect separate from the ICANN naming system. As Dr. Michael Geist pointed out on his blog, the Chinese Internet is a reality now. The English language version of People’s Daily Online noted on Tuesday that this means “Internet users don’t have to surf the Web via the servers under the management of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) of the United States. This may have far-reaching implications for the notion of a single global, interoperable internet in the future, as other countries that have argued for control over their own internet domains could follow China’s example.

Via  VirtualChina and BoingBoing
interfaxChina press release