ICANN picks Beijing to open first engagement center

U.S.-based Internet administrator will open its first new global engagement office in China, as it steps up efforts to becomes more inclusive with stakeholders in Asia.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will open its first new global engagement office in Beijing, China.

ICANN is opening its first engagement office in China.

"Engagement with China is not merely an option, we simply must engage at every level or we will lose our legitimacy," said Fadi Chehade, ICANN CEO and President, in a statement Monday. He was making the announcement during the welcoming session at ICANN's 46th public meeting in Beijing which will run through the rest of the week.

The CEO had last month pledged to make the Los Angeles-based organization less U.S.-centric, and is setting up two new hubs in Singapore and Istanbul to serve the Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets.

Madam Hu Qiheng, president of the Internet Society of China, said in the statement: "Our Internet future will now be brilliant. This is bridge for ICANN and China and it will lead to greater expansion of Internet development." The Chinese Internet user base  which is currently over half a billion, and exceeds the entire U.S. population, and is expected to climb sharply in the future.

ICANN is getting ready to roll out its new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD), which could be as early as this month and will will include TLDs in Chinese and other languages with non-Latin characters.