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Status: Delegated
Registry Provider: Neustar
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 975 - China United Network Communications Corporation Limited

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.unicom is a Brand TLD delegated in ICANN's New gTLD Program. China United Network Communications Corporation Limited's application for the string succeeded and the TLD was delegated to the Root Zone on 04 February 2016. [1][2]

String Similarity

After the long delayed ruling from the String Similarity Panel was released in late February 2013, it was revealed that .unicom had been deemed to similar to .unicorn and consequently were placed in contention set. Only one TLD can go on from a contention set to implementation, the others must be withdrawn or beat in auction or otherwise negotiated away from their application. The process of the String Similarity Panel was long obscured and had been causing a great deal of confusion and anxiety within the new TLD applicant community. Other than the .hotel/hoteis contention set there was only one other created, .hotels & .hoteis. There is no official appeals process to the findings of the Panel.[3]

Application Details

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

"The new .unicom gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd (China Unicom) can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand identity and authenticity. The .unicom gTLD will provide an authoritative Internet space for China Unicom and its affiliates that are associated with the brand to provide personalised information, services and resources to its users in a unique way that promotes trust, convenience and security. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for advertising and marketing purposes, with Internet users assured of brand authenticity.

China Unicom was established in 2009 as a result of a merger between China Netcom Group Corporation (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, which was first incorporated in 2000. With a modern communications network characterised by nationwide coverage and global reach, China Unicom operates communications services, including mobile, fixed, data, network access, satellite International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) system integration and value-added telecommunication services to its individual, family and enterprise customers.

China Unicom is the only Chinese telecommunications operator listed on the stock exchanges of New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai. China Unicom was in Financial Times’ Top 500 in 2011 in terms of its revenue, and ranked at the top of the world leading telecom operators in terms of its customer base and market capitalisation. By 2011, the total assets of China Unicom reached RMB447 billion. The company has 199 million mobile subscribers and 93 million fixed line users as the third largest mobile services provider in the world. China Unicom has subsidiaries operating in 31 provinces in China and in other parts of the world with over 450,000 employees.

China Unicom is a leader in innovating its information service and is determined to focus on its users by constantly improving its overall brand strength and competitiveness. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations for China Unicom. These objectives will be complemented by China Unicom’s gTLD application for the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) “unicom” in Chinese language.


Given the restricted nature of the .unicom gTLD, it is anticipated that between 800 and 2400 domain names will be registered in the first few years. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 5000 domain names as China Unicom develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns for the .unicom gTLD.

As the new .unicom gTLD expands and evolves, China Unicom may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its customers at a later date for convenience and personalised marketing purposes. Whilst this application is being submitted to ICANN on the basis of it being for use by China Unicom and its affiliates only, the Applicant would like to signal formally to ICANN its intention to review this model in future and potentially change the eligibility criteria for a domain name to allow registrations by third parties."