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Breaking through the English Language Barrier
Domain Names can now be registered in Chinese

Hong Kong, Apple Daily News, 14 January 2000 -- Although the Internet world is still mainly in English, Chinese language and multi-languages would soon be a trend, with the launch of Chinese domain names now.

CCT Telecom Holdings' HKNet and Malaysian-funded 3GNIC took on roles as strategic partners with Singapore-based i-DNS.net International, which developed the Internationalized Domain Name System (i-DNS), to launch registration service for Chinese domain names here.

Registration for Chinese domain names is at HK$480 per year.

HKNet deputy managing director Charles Mok said yesterday the company will be concentrating on introducing the service to local corporate clients, and is expecting more than 10000 applications within the first year.


Chinese Enterprises will take off

Statistics by the Hong Kong Internet Information Centre has shown that there are currently 27000 registered domain names in Hong Kong, all of which have been registered in English.

Mok said the launch of Chinese domain names will, without a doubt open up more areas for development on the Internet market. It will also encourage more Chinese enterprises and even non-Chinese enterprises to register their Chinese domain names, in the process developing more web content catering to the China market.

He stressed that the launch of the Chinese domain names will create a next wave of fervour on the development of the Internet.

The registration service launched yesterday is limited to domain names with extensions of '.com', '.org' and '.net' . Registration for each domain name is at HK$960 for the first two years, plus a handling fee of HK$500, thereafter the charge is HK480 per year.

The technology supports both the Chinese encoding systems of the Chinese Big5 and Chinese GB codes.

Michael Ng, Chief Executive for i-DNS.net International said the company is currently supporting 26 languages for registration, and will increase this number to 36 eventually.

As the administration support for each area is different, the company is also in the process of negotiating the launch of registration for Chinese domain names with extensions '.hk' and '.china'.

The 3rd Generation Network Information Centre (3GNIC), a subsidiary of Internet development company Asia Prime Network, has already signed an agreement with i-DNS.net as early as last year, designating 3GNIC as the official registrar to launch i-DNS service in Hong Kong.

3GNIC had intended to announce the launch today but HKNet took the initiative and launched the service yesterday.

However, 3GNIC seems to be already prepared. A spokesperson for 3GNIC said the company has invited rising superstar Cecilia Cheung to grace the launch today. She will have her own Chinese domain name, depicting the Chinese characters of her name, registered on the spot, making her the first artiste in the world to own a website with a Chinese domain name.


What price for a domain name? When Less is more.

Domain names are as important as a company name, or a name to a person. Internet users rely on domain names when surfing the web. But due to technical constraints, we can only have English domain names. It wasn't until recently that we have non-English domain names, when Taiwan's TimeNet first launched Chinese domain names last month.

With the development of the Internet, domain names have become an asset that can be traded. But it is not an easy task assessing the value of a domain name. Registration for a domain name in America is at a mere fee of US$70, with transactions regulated at not more than US$10000.

But it is difficult to assess a Chinese domain name, especially when it is new in the market. 3GNIC has suggested four criteria for assessing a domain name: the length of the domain name, its demand, its extension, and the total Chinese population.

1. The length of the domain name. The shorter the domain name, the higher the value. Short names are easier to remember and entered. Therefore, domain names with only one character have the highest value, followed by two characters, then three.

2. The demand of the domain name. Domain names that are short are highly in demand, and call for higher prices. For example, 'china.net' () as compared to 'wahmountain.net' (), will be in much higher demand and call for more market value. Demand can be classified into four categories (see table), the first being the most expensive, and the fourth category, the least.

3. The domain name's extension. Domain names with extension '.net' () will be more popular than '.com'(). In the context of the Chinese language, '.net' is more suitable for general websites, while '.com' is more suited for registered companies.

4. The Chinese population. The Chinese population in the world now stands at 25% of the total world population of 6 billion. According to IDC statistics, by year 2005, China will become the largest independent Internet market in Asia. Without a Chinese domain name, there is no chance of surviving in the massive loads of Chinese information.

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
-- Translated Article
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