Last year’s report focused on the challenges of implementing IDNs in the Arab States, where IDN registration numbers tend to be very low. It also highlighted a number of reasons for this, which spanned both cultural and linguistic factors, basic internet penetration and access and ccTLD policies.

Turning to Asia and the Pacific, the environment is very different. Cultural, linguistic, internet and ccTLD indicators are all more favourable to IDN deployment.

However, even in Asia and the Pacific region, overall the IDN registration numbers remain below the level of ASCII registrations in most cases and are far from achieving their potential.

This section looks at the region’s extensive contribution towards the refinement of IDN standards and the introduction of the IDN ccTLD. It then reviews implementation of IDNs by country or territory, with a particular focus on China, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, followed by a round-up for the rest of the region. It identifies the core problem as lack of end-user awareness. Finally the section concludes by revisiting the IDN-Readiness Matrix, finding that while the factors are still relevant, generally IDN registrations are under-performing compared with their potential, due to a combination of poor user experience and lack of user awareness.

 

Originally published in World Report on Internationalised Domain Names, 2013