David Goldstein - .cn Regains Number One ccTLD Spot in 2016, Again, As Registrations Surge


    The Chinese ccTLD, .cn, regained its position as the world’s largest by domains under management in 2016, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief from Verisign. China’s ccTLD added over 4 million registrations for the year. But there were some losers as well with .tk (Tokelau) and .net shedding registrations.

    In total there were 329.3 million domain names registered across the 1500 or so top level domains at the end of 2016, growing by approximately 2.3 million registrations, or 0.7% over the third quarter of 2016. For the 12 months to the end of 2016 registrations grew 21.0 million, or 6.8%.

    The largest of all the TLDs continues to be .com with 126.9 million registrations, growing from 124 million at the end of 2015 and 115.6 at the end of 2014. However for .net it’s a different story and it, along with a number of other gTLDs, has suffered since new gTLDs began to be introduced in 2014. In 2016 .net bled half million registrations from the 15.8 million one year ago but is still above the 15 million at the end of 2014.

    Total country code top level domain (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 142.7 million, a 1.8% increase over the third quarter of 2016, and a 3.1% (4.3 million) increase year over year.

    Without including .tk which has dropped from 26 million to 18.7 million in the 12 months to the end of 2016, ccTLD domain name registrations increased approximately 2.1 million in the quarter, a 1.7% increase compared to the third quarter of 2016 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 8.0 million domain name registrations, or 6.9%, year over year.

    It means China’s ccTLD has now overtaken the free registration model of .tk to become the largest ccTLD and second largest TLD overall, again, positions it last held back in 2009 when it had over 14 million registrations. In the last 12 months .cn has grown by 4.24 million registrations.

    At the end of 2016, .com was the largest TLD with 126.9 million registrations, followed by .cn with 21.1 million, .tk (18.7 million), .de (16.1m) and .net (15.3m). The largest of the new gTLDs remains .xyz which had 6.0 million registrations.