ICANN has greased the skids for Chinese character domain names. This follows earlier advances this year making arabic characters valid for use in domain names and moves toward addressing the contradiction that 60% of the net's users are non-native English speakers, yet the dominant language online is English. Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive of ICANN, said in a statement. "One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people."
The announcement was made during the 38th international Icann meeting held in Brussels from 20-25 June. ICANN representatives said that IDNs (International Domain Names) in 20 languages were being prepared. Thai and Tamil scripts will follow soon.
ICANN separately announced approval of the .xxx domain, which will cater to adult entertainment websites.