The Chinese market is one that requires lots of perseverance for the operators of TLDs wanting to offer their domain names to local customers. To get approval the registry operator must get approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) first, and then the local regional communications department of the region where the domain owner is based must also recognise the TLD.
To date Beijing, a market of 22 million people, has been the only holdout. But on 16 August MMX’s .vip was the first of three foreign new gTLDs, along with .shop and .ltd, to be recognised by the Beijing Communications Administration. .vip is the first new gTLD in the top 10 by registration numbers to gain this permission. The approval gives the 3 new gTLDs a significant competitive advantage in a region with an economy with a GDP of circa 2 trillion CNY and a rapidly developed start-up/SME business sector.
MMX management also believe this latest permission will further accelerate the transition of those domains originally bought by investors in 2016, before MIIT approval, into the hands of SMEs. Already China’s leading search engine, Baidu.com, recognises over 705,000 individual .vip pages from 188,764 different .vip sites and the Company is aware of further initiatives that will directly contribute to this continued usage growth of the domain in the coming months.
From mid November 2017, MMX will also begin selling Chinese character (IDN) .vip names into the Chinese market.
Separately, the MIIT approval process continues to progress on track on up to a further eight TLDs in mmx’s portfolio.