China (.cn) has overtaken Germany (.de) to become the world’s largest country code for domain names. With an average of around 400,000 to 500,000 .cn domain names registered each month it would be safe to assume there are more than 12,300,000 names registered compared to 12,098,279 .de names registered at the time of writing.
The two ccTLDs (country code top level domains) are much larger than any of their competitors with the next ccTLD being .uk (United Kingdom) with 6,880,775 and close to three million .nl (Netherlands) domain names.
Of all TLDs, ccTLDs and gTLDs, only .com is larger than .cn and .de, followed by .net, while .org and .uk are roughly equal in fifth position.
The success of Germany’s country code has been due to few restrictions on the eligibility of registrants for .de domain names and a low price. Although France has a similar population, there are currently only 1,153,637 registrations.
These extraordinary registration rates are a result of extremely low reg fees in .cn domains. Regular domainers from all over the world can buy .cn domains for just $0.13 at a variety of sites. A predeposit is usually required.
Bigger resellers can get the domains for even cheaper paying just pennies on the dollar.
My guess is once the reg fees rise there registration counts for .cn will fall dramatically, unless we start seeing some high sales to support the tld growth