Naming authority Icann announces internet domains in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic

Internet naming authority Icann has announced four non-Latin generic top-level domains in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts

Internet naming authority Icann has announced four new generic top-level domains to sit alongside the more familiar .com, .net and .org web address endings.

The domains – to be rolled out in a few weeks – comprise the Arabic word for “web”, the Chinese word for “game” and the Russian words for “online” and “website”.

The domain names in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts will be the first to use non-Latin characters. The move is part of Icann’s efforts to create a more “inclusive” internet.

It marks the beginning of a gradual expansion of the domain naming system, from 22 mainly English names to a projected 1,400 multilingual names.

The new names will be based on around 2,000 company applications for the names they would like to register, such as .ferrari, .bbc, .google, .youtube.

While .music has been requested by Amazon and Google, the domain .app has been requested by 13 different companies, according to the BBC.

Icann is now faced with processing all the applications and resolving cases where more than one application has been made for the same domain.

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined,” said Akram Atallah, president of Icann’s Generic Domains Division.

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