China bans .tk domain name

The tiny islands of Tokelau in the South Pacific Ocean, which together have about 1500 inhabitants, find themselves banned in China. No explanation has been forthcoming from China for the ban.

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By  Vijaya George Published  July 1, 2002

The tiny islands of Tokelau in the South Pacific Ocean, which together have about 1500 inhabitants, find themselves banned in China. China's Data Communication Bureau, residing at the Ministry of Information Industry, has blocked access to all Web sites bearing a .TK domain name. The content displayed on the Web sites, registered with a .TK domain name, varies from search engines to vacation-photo collections.

Many years ago, the International Standard Organisation assigned Tokelau a .TK extension, just as .DE is assigned to Germany and .JP to Japan. Tokelau accepts registrations from all over the world, and currently has more then 220,000 Web sites containing a .TK domain name, which cannot be accesssed by the Chinese.

"Since our start in December, many Chinese individuals claimed a .TK domain name. We know that there are only 25,000 .CN domain names registered within China, but the need for domain names in the Peoples Republic is enormous," claims Joost Zuurbier, president of Taloha, Inc., the registration entity for .TK domain names. "We have seen about 60,000 registrations of .TK domain names from China which accounted for 50% of all traffic to .TK Web sites in the first months of this year.

At this moment, the traffic to these Chinese Web sites and their content has dropped to virtually 0%. Only people from Singapore and Taiwan are able to watch this content at this time."
The reason for the ban is unknown. Although Taloha has tried to contact the Ministry of Information Industry several times in the last couple of weeks, he has met with little success.

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