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Is China Preparing to Go its Own Way with its Own Internet Root?

Interesting things happening in China. An article in the English edition of the People’s Daily on line is headlined: Decimal network security address begins operation:

“China’s decimal network security address was officially launched. China has made a fundamental breakthrough in its Internet development; and actual use has been successful. The birth of decimal network technology makes China the only country able to unify domain names, IP addresses and MAC addresses into the text of a metric system; the second, after the United States (US), in the world to have root servers and IP address hardware connectivity servers and its own domain name, IP address and MAC address resources; and enables our country to become the world’s second country (after the US) to possess and control scarce network resources such as network distribution, domain names and addresses. It puts a crack in the US’s monopoly over the Internet, based on hexadecimal technology; and is a major, independent technical innovation of the Internet in China.”

Someone asked whether this was a rumored IPv9?

I asked my arch econ list if anyone could help parse what was happening.

Brough Turner replied [also featured here on CircleID].

I asked some Chinese associates about this. The English article was based reports from a network security conference recently held at the Central Party School (in Beijing I believe). The Chinese press release shows up at multiple URLs, including here:

It appears IPv9 is a project name, not a new protocol. It lumps together several activities, including at least:

  1. China will operate their own DNS root servers.
  2. They will support purely decimal domain names, in addition to domain names in Kanji and in traditional “English” characters. Xie Jianping, head of the working group, demonstrated typing “12345? into a browser address bar and being taken directly to the China Central People’s Government portal.
  3. There are also references to a “.china” root. I’m not sure if this is real or another way of talking about parts of their project.

Xie Jianping represents an MII (Ministry of Information Industries) working group headquartered in Shanghai. China’s new DNS root servers are being (will be?) deployed in Shanghai, Beijing and Changsha.

Cook’s Edge: Another very technically astute list member responded that he hoped Broughs evaluation was not accurate because if it were it would break a lot of things. Since at this point China has more internet users than almost another nation, they may well be getting ready to go their own way. We do indeed live in interesting times.

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David Wrixon  –  Feb 1, 2008 4:47 AM

China wants technology that suits its needs. None of this means they are trying to break the Internet, but they don’t want the US dictating the pace of development. Being partnered to the US is often a bit like being married to an unemployed bum. This is not the only area you will see massive developments. Watch out for the Chinese PC OS. That has to be a flying certainty in the near future.

Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Feb 1, 2008 2:04 PM

This is more like “vendor who has political connections enough to flog a dud product”


Jothan Frakes  –  Feb 2, 2008 12:03 AM

Interesting post, but with all due respect to you Gordon, the corroboration on this article is spotty at best.  This is either an early breaking news item or a well structured social engineering attempt.

Please provide some other links that corroborate the decimal network root.

DPC / DDNS is a link to a company listing with some rough information after digging through Suresh’s link to James Seng’s post about this from July 2004.

It appears to be an alternative root segmentation if one lifts the hood, and maybe the client that does dns redirection stuffs the MAC address of the local machine.

Searches on ipv9 on Google all come up with a seemingly authentic article but all prove to be loosely based upon what looks like a press release from 2004.

Would someone please post something to refute the legitimacy of the decimal network moving forward or prove this is real?

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