CN Domain Name Registration Help

CN Domain Name Registration Help

Are you entering China but having no idea what the right domain extension is to use? Do you want to buy a .cn domain, but are not quite sure whether your company is qualified? Are you struggling to get a .cn domain, but have gone nowhere?

You have come to the right place, where all your questions will be answered – okay, maybe not all of them, but we are trying.

Table of Contents

  1. Do you need a .cn domain?
  2. Why is getting a .cn domain harder than expected?
  3. Whether and how can you get .cn domains?

Do You Need a .cn Domain?

Before all the hassle, you need to make sure if you really need a .cn domain.

Shifu bets 8 out of 10 of you are rolling your eyes now, but let us explain.

Firstly .cn is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the People’s Republic of China, namely China Mainland.

There are four major Chinese-speaking countries and territories, namely China Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. So, depending on your target market, you may need a .hk domain, which is for Hong Kong, .tw for Taiwan, or .sg for Singapore.

Secondly, even in China Mainland, the dominance of .cn domains is threatened by the more globally common domain extension – .com.

.cn domains account for roughly 55% of all domain names registered in China, while .com takes a market share of nearly 37%, according to The Internet Development Report of China issued by China Internet Network Information Center in July 2014.

Below is the detailed market share breakdown:

China domain extension market share

If you are targeting two or more Chinese speaking countries and territories, below are our recommendations:

Country/Territory TLDs
China .cn, or .com
Hong Kong .hk, or
Singapore, or .sg
Two or more of the regions above .com

Why It’s Harder to Get .cn Domains

It’s CNNIC (the China Internet Network Information Center), a true pain in the neck.

Since 2010, CNNIC has suspended new .cn domain registrations from overseas registrars like GoDaddy and and made the registration process anti-human and torturous.

Whether and How You Can Get .cn Domains

In short, you can, but be prepared for stricter requirements and a more prolonged registration process.

If you are not a Chinese citizen or have a registered company in China Mainland, you can only register .cn domains with a very short list of domain registrars.

Based on our happiness with the services, we have worked most with:

  • Marcaria

Requirements and Process

Below are the requirements, directly cited from

Registration: Registration of a CN domain name requires the sending of documents to the registry that allows them to identify the owner of the domain name:

  • If you are registering as a registered organization: a copy of your organization’s registration certificate with an official body, only official registration bodies with a database accessible online will be accepted by the registry. The name of the organization specified in your Gandi account must be strictly identical to the name of the organization indicated on the registration certificate
  • If you are registering as an individual, a copy of your legal photo ID (passport, national ID card, drivers license, etc.). The name of the holder as specified in your Gandi account must be strictly identical to the one indicated on your legal photo ID.

These documents may be sent to Gandi either by email (in .jpg format with a size between 100k and 1MB) to the address with the subject: documents for [your domain], or by postal mail received by us within five days, failing this your domain name will be deleted by the registry. These documents are only required for your first CN registration at Gandi under the new rules enacted by the Registry.

Need any help?

Do you need help with CN domain registration, or have other questions? Drop us a line, and we are happy to help, very possibly for free!