Verisign has downgraded its expectations for .com/.net growth for the year into potentially negative territory, citing — not for the first time — low demand from China.
The registry expects its domain name base to grow at a maximum of 0.4% or shrink as much as 0.4% by the end of the year. That compares to a prediction of between 0% and 2.25% growth at the start of the year.
“Low demand from China remains the primary source of drag on the overall domain name base growth,” CEO Jim Bidzos told analysts on Thursday. “Excluding registrars based in China, both our domain name base and new registrations are up year-over-year”.
The company’s regulatory filing for Q3 shows that China revenue was down from $26.8 million to $22 million over the year. It was the only one of the four geographic reporting segments to show a shrinkage.
Verisign ended Q3 173.9 million .com/.net domains under management, down 0.1% over the year and down half a million names in the quarter.
While DUM growth may be on the decline, price hikes compensate and keep Verisign’s dollar-growth going.
The company reported year-over-year revenue growth up 5.4% at $376 million for the quarter of 2023. Net income was $188 million, up from $169 million a year ago.