Warning: .cn domains lost within 72hrs of expiry

My company, Internetrix, has been expanding into the Chinese market gradually over the last year or so. Part of this has led us to register a couple of .cn domain names.

As a result of some plans we made a year ago, we registered a .cn domain name, in this case through GoDaddy. The domain name expired at around 11am on the 5th of March, so depending on the time zone, which would be only 30 and 54 hours ago.

Unfortunately, by the time I logged onto GoDaddy to renew the domain, it was too late. While domains I have decided not to renew from back in February were there asking for me to renew them, the .cn domain wasn’t.

It looks like when domains in .cn expire, they expire almost immediately. There is no way to renew them, and getting the domain back just now – around 2 days after expiry – cost me an additional US$50 in a redemption fee on top of the registration cost.

The very helpful operator from GoDaddy also told me that if I’d waited until tomorrow to call, they wouldn’t have been able to get it back for me. This means a domain could be irretrievably lost to squatters less than 72 hours after expiry.

This might be different for different registrars, and whoever GoDaddy use is particularly fierce with their suspension, but either way, I’d strongly recommend anyone starting to dabble in the .cn namespace be very, very careful and dilligent about their renewal handling processes.

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