Never one to back down from a chance to gain publicity, GoDaddy.com has announced that like Google, it too will be halting operations in China. I’m not sure how much of a percentage of the Chinese market uses GoDaddy, but this seems to be a serious announcement by the domain registration and hosting company.
If anything, the decision by GoDaddy will limit its reselling of .CN domain names more than anything. Less .CN’s on the market? This could be a good thing.
GoDaddy.com Inc., the world’s largest domain name registration company, told lawmakers Wednesday that it will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves.
The rules, the company believes, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk. The company also believes the rules will have a “chilling effect” on new domain name registrations.
and from the Godaddy announcement :
“There appears to be a recent increase in China’s surveillance and monitoring of the Internet activities of its citizens,” said Christine Jones, general counsel for Go Daddy, at the Congressional- Executive Commission on China (CECC).
Jones said the new Chinese policies required every website owner to submit photographs, business information and individually signed forms, as well as their physical address, email address and telephone numbers.
“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.”