Melbourne IT's share price jumped 45 cents within hours of the announcement that its domain name registration business, Internet Names WorldWide, has licensed the rights to provide Chinese character-based domain names.
The licensing agreement with i-DNS International makes Melbourne IT the first ICANN-accredited domain name registrar to offer character-based domain names.
Clive Flory, general manager of Internet Names WorldWide, said the i-DNS technology will help drive Internet adoption amongst the non-English speaking population.
"We are looking at the birth of the first truly international Internet community where language is no longer a barrier. The new system empowers non-English speaking populations to tap into the power of the Internet and open up new e-commerce opportunities in countries where English is not comfortably used. i-DNS International's technology and position on relevant Internet standards committees puts the company in a good position of having its International Domain Name System adopted as the industry standard in the future."
Flory added that localised domain names make the marketing of Web sites easier and more effective.
Initially covering Chinese characters only, it is expected the agreement will be extended to other character-based languages such as Japanese, Arabic, Thai and Tamil.
The present domain name system operates only in Roman characters.