India’s Largest Domain Company Net4 has Shut Down

India’s largest domain company Net4India has shut down, affecting thousands of websites. Net4 didn’t announce the date for the impending shutdown, and support staff is unreachable through any means.

The company began as an internet service provider called Mangla Chemical Ltd. in 1985. In 2001, it rebranded as Net 4 India Ltd., becoming the country’s largest domain registrar and web host. The name was simplified to “Net4” in 2011.

That same year was also Net4’s peak, as the State Bank of India declared it a non-performing asset in 2013. It has since been subject to bankruptcy proceedings. Now, in 2021, the firm has seemingly vanished.

Many Twitter users have been complaining about the lack of service for a while. For instance, one of Net4’s customers reports that the Mumbai office has been closed for eight months.

Vanishing Act

Net4’s domain has expired on October 3, 2021. When it comes to the sites that relied on its services, some have changed to other hosting providers, like AWS and GoDaddy. Others are simply gone.

It appears that the missing websites are smaller, while the larger ones found the resources to move on quickly. However, some users report that they’re unable to migrate. One possible solution for them would be to use short-term hosting while looking for permanent solutions.

Earlier, Net4’s Twitter account was temporarily locked. At the time of writing, it is public again, but contains no tweets newer than 2013. Because the company has been largely absent for months, it’s possible that those responsible are long gone, and things are only falling apart now.

Affected users have approached the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The organization stated that it is now in talks with the Indian Government to try and assist those impacted.

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Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.

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