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Russian domain market during coronavirus

On April 23, TASS hosted a conference called, “Runet before and after COVID-19: Three development scenarios for the internet economy in 2020.” The news conference was held online and was dedicated to the results of the survey “The 2019-2020 Runet economy” as well as the assessment of the coronavirus epidemic’s impact on the industry. Experts, analysts, and heads of public, commercial and educational institutions discussed the state of the Russian internet segment before March 2020 and the development scenarios for Runet and the digital economy.

Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrei Vorobyov spoke at the news conference. He described the current state of the Russian domain market: “Today we can see a slight decrease in registrations of prolongations in the .RU and .РФ ccTLDs and the number of registrants as well. We carefully monitor the state of the market and can say that this decrease is not dramatic. Most websites in the ccTLDs are operating as usual. A lot of new websites come into being. Nevertheless, we have corrected our prognosis on the Russian domain market for 2020: a decrease of 1.5–2 percent in the number of domain names in .RU and .РФ can be considered an optimistic scenario.”

Andrei Vorobyov also noted the interest in registering domain names potentially related to the coronavirus. For example, 3,188 “coronavirus” domains have been registered in the Russian ccTLDs, as well as 323 domains with the words “test,” “mos,” “gosuslugi,” and “propusk.”

“Since the beginning of 2020, we have been monitoring “coronavirus” domains in the Russian domain zones and taking part in international projects researching this trend. The Coordination Center sends this base with the “coronavirus” domains to competent organizations. One of them, Kaspersky Lab, flagged about 1,500 .RU domains and over 3,000 .РФ domains with “threat of a data loss” in the company’s products. This means that all the devices protected by Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus will receive updates on these domain names and warn the visitors of these websites about potential threats,” Andrei Vorobyov pointed out.

The Coordination Center director also noted the changes around the domain name registrars. The domain market is showing a tendency to merges and the increasing share of the largest players: for example, 74.4 percent of domain names registered in .RU and 80.8 percent in .РФ account for three largest registrars. However, new registrars come to the market, too: Andrei Vorobyov announced a new registrar specializing in domain name registration in .РФ in May.

The participants and the audience at the news conference were presented two new projects of the Coordination Center for TLD RU/.РФ developed for the 10th anniversary of the .РФ Cyrillic ccTLD marked on May 12, 2020: 10.кц.рф for a wide audience and Поддерживаю.РФ. Developers of commercial software, email and web service administrators, and contributors of public software who want to improve the support of Cyrillic and other non-Latin domains and emails in national languages in their products are invited to take part in this project.

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