Go Daddy to Leave China

Following Google’s move to leave China, the registrar Go Daddy has announced it to is going to stop offering .CN domain name registration in testimony before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Go Daddy’s General Counsel Christine Jones told members of Congress that her company would discontinue offering new “.cn” domain registrations because of the new registration requirements that commenced last December. The requirements mean registrars have to give the Chinese government a colour image of identity documents, a business license where appropriate and a signed physical contract for each registered domain. The information was to be forwarded to the .CN registry, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The requirements are more detailed than most registries that require only a name, address, telephone number and email address.

“We were immediately concerned about the motives behind the increased level of registrant verification being required,” Christine N. Jones, general counsel of the Go Daddy Group, told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday. “The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals.”

Jones also told the Congress committee that Go Daddy customers with .CN domain names have recently been attacked more frequently than in the past.

The Chinese government has previously said these requirements are part of its campaign against pornography on the internet.

As with allegations that Google’s decision to leave China was at least made easier because it was not making very much money there, and was not likely to do so in the short or medium term, it seems Go Daddy was not being very successful there either. In her testimony, Jones told the Congress committee that Go Daddy there have been around 27,000 .CN domain names registered with Go Daddy since 2005. This is more than any other non-Chinese company but represents less than one per cent of Go Daddy’s revenue.