At least one company is ready to follow Google’s stance on doing business in China: GoDaddy.
GoDaddy.com, the world’s largest domain name registrar, will stop registering .cn domains in China after the government there demanded personal information about people who have purchased domain names from GoDaddy in the past, the company said Wednesday during a hearing in the U.S. Congress.
GoDaddy’s decision, announced at a Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing, comes after the Chinese government has demanded that the registrar provide photo identification, business identification and physically signed registration for all .cn domains registered through GoDaddy.com in the six years the company has been operating in China, said Christine Jones, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for the Go Daddy Group, GoDaddy.com’s parent company.
Jones also told the committee that GoDaddy has faced increased numbers of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks since the beginning of the year. “In the first three months of this year, we have repelled dozens of extremely serious DDoS attacks that appear to have originated in China, based on the IP addresses from which the attacks derived. Had our security systems not countered these attacks, the result would have been a widespread take-down of our customers’ hosted Web sites,” Jones said in her prepared testimony.
Google’s Alan Davidson, director of public policy, also plans to speak before the hearing, coming two days after Google announced its decision to move its Chinese-language search engine from mainland China to Hong Kong in order to bypass government laws on Internet censorship.
“Internet censorship is a challenge that no particular industry–much less any single company–can tackle on its own,” Davidson plans to say during his testimony, according to a copy of his prepared remarks posted on Google’s public policy blog. “However, we believe concerted, collective action by governments, companies and individuals can help promote online free expression and reduce the impact of censorship.”
For the most part, U.S. companies have reiterated plans to stay in China and adhere to their laws following Google’s initial announcement in January and subsequent moves this week. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged companies to do their part in pressuring governments to open up the Internet to their citizens, but many companies feel the issue is much more properly dealt with at the national level, according to trade group representatives.