|TLD type||Country code top-level domain|
|Registry||SWITCH Information Technology Services|
|Sponsor||SWITCH Information Technology Services|
|Intended use||Entities connected with Switzerland|
|Actual use||Very popular in Switzerland, gaining popularity in China, also used around the world for domain hacks|
|Registration restrictions||Two letter domain names are restricted to cantons|
|Structure||Registrations permitted at second level|
|Documents||Terms and conditions|
|Dispute policies||Dispute Resolution Proceedings|
.ch is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Switzerland in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Made available in 1987, only two years after the .com extension, it is administered by SWITCH Information Technology Services.
The domain ch derives from Confoederatio Helvetica (Helvetic Confederation), the Latin name for the country, which was used because of its neutrality with regard to the four official languages of Switzerland. CH is the ISO 3166-2 code for Switzerland and also is used on vehicle plates.
Second-level domain names must be at least three letters long. Two-letter subdomain names are restricted to the Swiss cantons, as well as the domain ch.ch of the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland. The only exception has been the former domain of the Expo.02 which was held in Switzerland, www.expo.02.ch.
In the Chinese domain market
.ch has been of a rising interest to Chinese domain investors for several reasons. According to EuropeID.com, the .ch extension still has plenty of valuable English keywords and short letter and number combinations left. A contributing factor may be because the majority of .ch registrations are in German, leaving many English words available. In addition, with 2 million domains under .ch being registered, most of the reserved domains have the European market in mind, allowing valuable domains for other languages such as Chinese keywords in the Latin script being registered at a normal price.
The .ch domain is very popular for domain hacks, because of the amount of words ending in "ch", especially English words. Some examples are Techcrunch's tcrn.ch, lun.ch, ar.ch, and tea.ch. However, there are also other domain hacks in other languages, such as scha.ch in German for the word "chess".
The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has begun registering .swiss domains as of 7 September 2015. This is meant to augment the traditional .ch TLD. Applicants must currently have a "registered place of business and a physical administrative base in Switzerland" to apply.
- EuropeID. ".CH's Growing Popularity as Domain for China | EuropeID". europeid.com. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
- "Legal Info - Internet Domains". www.nic.ch. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
- From the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
- "Domain Hacks - BestNa.me". BestNa.me. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
- "Launch of the new .swiss internet domain". dot.swiss. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- "Facts". dot.swiss. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
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