EURid, which runs the ccTLD .EU, has published its 2019 World Report on Internationalized Domain Names. Compiled with the support of Verisign, the report notes significant progress in the development of this segment of the global network. The number of registered IDNs at the moment is about 9 million. This shows a 20-percent increase compared to 2017. At the same time, the share of internationalized domain names in the total number is still very modest − about 2.5 percent.
Russia ranks second when it comes to the number of registered IDNs. The Russian domain .РФ is also the second largest internationalized gTLD with over 800,000 registered domain names. China’s IDN .中国 tops the ranking with about 1.7 million registrations. Also, China leads in the total number of IDNs registered in the country − about 3.9 million. In addition, Chinese is the most common language of website content in internationalized domains (41%).
The report authors note that IDN development plays an important role in expanding the language diversity of the internet. At the same time, they conclude that the problems related to the universal acceptance of internationalized domain names remain relevant and seriously hinder progress. These problems have been resolved by major internet browsers, which demonstrates a very high level of readiness for universal acceptance. Over the past year, serious steps have been taken in this direction by the developers of most browsers for mobile devices. However, as more new devices with internet access show up in the market the task is not getting easier. For example, the report points out that an increasing number of modern smart cars are equipped with built-in internet-enabled devices. At the same time, the universal acceptance of IDNs in such devices remains a serious challenge.