VNNIC and ICANN cohost the media briefing on IDN (03/05/2017)

On May 3, 2017, Vietnam Internet Network Center (VNNIC) and ICANN APAC Hub hosted the “Media briefing on IDN” conference at the office of Ministry of Information and Communications. The conference was co-chaired by Mr. Tran Minh Tan - Director General of VNNIC, and Mr. Jia Rong Low - Managing Director of ICANN APAC Hub, and attended by representatives of ICANN AND VNNIC, as well as more than 30 representatives from local press media and .VN registrars.

The conference focused on the development of domain names in general, and specifically new additions to the name space such as new gTLDs and IDNs. Those programs have been actively promoted by ICANN in recent years with the aim to enhance the diversified and multilingual environment of the global Internet. Vietnam is considered to be such an successful example of promoting IDNs when it reached the 1 billion IDN.VN registration milestone in 2014 and continued to maintain more than 900,000 domains until early 2017.

One question was raised about the essence of IDN.VN due to the fact that Vietnamese domain names belong to the Latin script, then people could still guess the meaning of those domains. Mr. Tran Minh Tan said it was more useful to non-Latin countries’ users to access to the Internet using their mother language. Consequently, developing IDN for those users should be an essential trend and one of the most important issues which would need innovation in policy and technology would be the Universal Acceptance of IDN. Though Vietnamese script is not part of the non-Latin alphabet circle, it has the unique characteristic of having polysematic words without tones, with which users could guess the same word in ASCII form with several meanings, for example, “ba” could mean “ba”(three or father), “bà” (madame), “bã” (trash), “bá” (bá đạo – extraordinary), “bả” (drug), or “bạ” (danh bạ - directory). IDN.VN would make the difference among those words, and clarify the brand and domain names in use. Mr. Jia Rong Low added that IDN really contribute to the development of local and domestic contents on the Internet with the involvement of native people in their native language, to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

When asked about his prediction of future development of both IDN and Internet in Vietnam, Mr. Jia Rong Low said it would be really hard to guess what was going to happen in the next few years or on the long term. But surely, the usage of local content and IDN in the Internet would expand together with the development of the digital economy. In the future, the Vietnam government will definitely focus on policies developing Vietnamese domain name, promoting Vietnamese content Internet and localizing on IDN. We would see not only like hànộ, việ but also the highest IDN ccTLD like .ῇᾤ; .việtnam, ... in the future, according to representative of VNNIC.