Looks like Google has gained an unexpected ally with its China boycott. Domain name registration and web hosting company GoDaddy.com has announced that it will stop selling .CN domains.
According to the GoDaddy announcement, courtesy of the Search Engine Journal:
“We didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government,” Jones said. “We can’t let them be strong and us be weak all the time. We just have to stop it, and then we’ll start offering .CN domain names again,” said Christine Jones, general counsel for Go Daddy.
This is in response to Chinese policies requiring every website owner to submit photographs, business information and individually signed forms including their physical address, email address and telephone numbers when registering a new .CN domain. These data will be forwarded to the China Internet Information Center (CNNIC), a quasi-governmental agency. GoDaddy does not usually require this information from its billions of domain registrants asking only name, address, telephone number and e-mail address before they register a domain.
According to Ms. Jones, China was the first government to retroactively seek additional verification and documentation of registrants. The Chinese government is implementing those policies to stop individual Chinese owned websites from getting attacked by spam.
Interestingly, Jones said that while Chinese domain name have been recently attacked most frequently, those sites however are mostly those “deemed not appropriate” for Beijing. Particularly sites containing information about the Tiananmen Square uprising or human rights.
It would be interesting to see how this issue will unfold in the coming days. Will China feel the pressure from Google, GoDaddy and perhaps other Internet players and relax their internet policy a bit?