Rogier Creemers posted a translated revision draft (undated) of the Internet Domain Name Management Rules of which the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is seeking opinions.
The rules give a definition of domain name, referring to a “digital indicator that is used on the Internet to distinguish and orient the hierarchical structure of computers, and corresponds to the computer’s Internet protocol (IP) address.” The Top Level Domain names (TLD) are the codes on the right-hand side of the dot. China’s country-code Top Level Domain names (ccTLD) are CN and 中国.
New TLDs can both form an opportunity and a threat for brand and trademark holders, because of the risk of cybersquatters.
The rules make those responsible for the domain name systems (telecommunications management bodies, domain name root server-running bodies, domain name registration management bodies and domain name registration service) also responsible for censorship, just as internet service providers are. See for example Article 4:
All provincial, autonomous region and municipal telecommunications management bureaus are responsible for domain name services supervision and management within their own administrative areas, their main tasks are:
(1) Implementing and enforcing domain name management laws, administrative regulations, rules and policies;
(2) managing domain name registration service bodies within their administrative areas;
(3) assisting the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in conducting management over domain name root server-running bodies and domain name registration and management bodies within their administrative areas;
(4) being responsible for network and information security management of the domain name system within their administrative area;)
(5) protecting users’ personal information and lawful rights and interests according to the law;
(6) managing domain name resolution services within their administrative areas;
(7) managing other activities concerning domain name services within their administrative areas.
In contrast to internet service providers, it seems that in this draft, the domain name system bureaus are not so much made responsible for the enforcement of copyright and trademark infringements.