The Chinese government-controlled news agency Xinhua has dropped out of the race for the new gTLD .广东 — the local name of Guangdong, China’s most populous province.
The withdrawal clears a path for the only other applicant for the string, Guangzhou Yu Wei Information Technology, to pass more quickly through the ICANN approval process.
Guangzhou Yu Wei is affiliated with Zodiac Holdings, the Cayman Islands-based portfolio applicant founded by James Seng, but it also has backing from the Guangdong provincial government.
As a formally designated Geographic string, government backing is necessary for approval.
Xinhua had not appeared especially enthusiastic about its bid. Its prioritization number of 1772 means it didn’t bother to participate in ICANN’s lottery last December.
Zodiac, on the other hand, took advantage of the IDN bias in the process and wound up with a priority of 79. It passed Initial Evaluation in early April.
The company filed a Community application, but a Community Priority Evaluation will obviously no longer be required. It intends to restrict .广东 to registrants that can prove a local presence.
Zodiac is using .cn registry CNNIC as its back-end registry provider.