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country: International
Manager: Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
Registry Provider: Minds + Machines
Type: Generic
Category: Culture
PIC Submitted: Download Here
Priority #: 899

.zulu is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. It is one of 68 applications that Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. has filed for on its own behalf.[1] The name was applied for as a GeoTLD, which includes obtaining the respective government support, but ICANN deemed that the term in question does not in fact refer to a geographic area as defined by its standards. The ruling was made by the Geographic Names Panel, and has no necessarily overt, negative repercussions for the application.[2]

The application was issued a GAC Early Warning by South Africa. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[3]

The warning states that the applicant claims the support of "King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and his government", and consequently misunderstands how South African government functions: "His Majesty the King has no Government. Instead, he and the Zulu tribe are represented by the KwaZulu-Natl Province. This provincial government represents and covers not only amaZulu, but also other tribes and races. Therefore this application does not have the "government" support it claims to have." The South Africa warning that there was not broad consultation within the zulu region and with the zulu people and points to numerous errors within how the applicant even uses the term "zulu" in its application. It offers no remediation and asks that the applicant withdraw its application.[4]

.zulu was WITHDRAWN by TLDH, along with another 3 TLDs (.free, .spa, .sale), in April 2013.[5]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The .ZULU top-level domain will serve the Zulu nation, its diaspora, and speakers of isiZulu, as well as those who wish to identify with the Zulu name and nation. While Internet access today is not available to the majority of the Zulu people, the .ZULU gTLD will provide a global digital identity for the Zulu nation and the isiZulu language. The application by Top Level Domain Holdings for the .ZULU top-level has the support of the King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and his government.

The Zulu people are the largest South African ethnic group, with an estimated 10.5 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The modern Zulu population is distributed between urban and rural areas. Although many still live in KwaZulu-Natal, many have relocated to Gauteng province.

The language of the Zulu people, isiZulu, is a widely spoken language in South Africa. More than 50% of the South African population is able to understand it, with over 24 million first- and second-language speakers. It is one of the eleven official languages of the Republic of South Africa.

The .ZULU top-level domain will provide a digital identity for the Zulu people and language. .ZULU will provide a readily recognizable identifiable means of communicating with people, organizations and businesses that associate or identify with the Zulu people and the isiZulu language. The .ZULU top-level domain will assist in promoting business, tourism, and developing the Zulu culture and language.


This applicant, like most organizations, takes its good reputation seriously. We are fully cognizant, for example, that artistic, political, economic and social issues, all of which can be associated with the Zulu nation, often provoke heated debate and are at times controversial. However, we recognize and support the free speech rights of both registrants and Internet users as fundamental rights and believe that such free speech rights are important to the success of the .ZULU business plan. We believe that any plan to stifle free speech would be more harmful to .ZULU’s reputation and business success than any attempt by us to govern speech. That being said, to protect .ZULU’s reputation and the associational benefits it offers registrants and Internet consumers, we will actively promote and enforce our Acceptable Use and Abuse Prevention policies and procedures, which we believe will effectively combat improper or unlawful unprotected speech and online conduct. We believe that these mechanisms will be effective in assuring the reputation of the .ZULU top-level domain, its registrants, Internet Users, as well as the public.

The .ZULU top-level domain will be marketed to registrants who want to associate themselves, their products, services, thoughts, ideas or anything else in a positive way with the Zulu nation, as well as to those who want to communicate with members of the Zulu nation in an easily identifiable way. Therefore we believe that the great majority of registrants who apply for a .ZULU domain name will do so because of its association the Zulu nation or because they want to reach those who have similar interests, and not for other reasons. In these ways, the .ZULU top-level domain will bring a special association with the Zulu nation to the top-level domain name space.

We are dedicated to protection of third-party rights and prevention of abusive uses of the .ZULU domain name. We intend to achieve this goal by crafting our Naming Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, and other policies to be readily understandable and easily accessible, and by making sure that our mechanisms for enforcing rights and preventing abuse (such as our Complaint Resolution Service) operate effectively, efficiently, and fairly. In addition, we will ensure that they work symbiotically with other ICANN-mandated rights protection mechanisms such as the UDRP."[6]