“Is this the beginning of the end of the open Internet? China is going ahead with a plan to add Chinese character domains and use its own DNS, bypassing ICANN altogether.”
I’ve always wondered why companies like microsoft didn’t just start up their own TLD, say equal to their stock ticker symbol, and announce where their root servers could be found.
There’s no technical reason this can’t be done. Attempts at setting up alternate root servers for additional TLD space have been tried. In fact, Alternic was an example of how it might be done. The DNS at Telisphere had the Alternic root servers added to the DNS for all customers, back in the day.