The Chinese domain name bubble bursts

Nearly one year ago, I asked Will .CN become the next .COM?

And perhaps I was right in more ways than one.

Because now it appears that .CN is experiencing its very own .COM bust.

Just a year ago Chinese domain registrations were booming, so quickly in fact that .CN had surpassed .DE to become the most-registered ccTLD.

Of course, registrations were cheap, really cheap.

A year later, those domains have come up for renewal. And, according to Domain Pulse, more than a million of those domains have not been renewed:

Registrations for .CN have declined from an end-of-month peak of 14,082,553 in February 2009 to 12,545,589, a decline of approximately 1.5 million

Which means Germany (.DE), at just under 13 million registrations, has regained the top spot as the number one ccTLD.

Even with ccTLDs, there are peaks and troughs, as illustrated here:

china-cctld-reg-august2009

I’m still confident that .CN will reign supreme (perhaps until .IN gives it some competition).

But first it must recover from this little bubble.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.