HKNet deputy managing director Charles Mok predicted that the company will receive more than 10000 applications in the first year.
Refused to comment on issue about buying Ming Pao's website
HKNet will also start construction on its 30000 to 50000 sq ft Digital Centre in Tsuen Wan in the first half of the year. Joint ventures between ISPs and ICPs are inevitable, Mok said that HKNet will continue its collaborations with ICPs, be it purchasing companies or striking strategic partnership. But he refused to comment on whether HKNet has bought over MIng Pao's website.
At present, domain names can only be registered in English, Roman characters or other symbols.
The Chinese domain name technology that is introduced by HKNet claimed to be able to operate using both the Chinese Big5 and Chinese GB encoding systems, and supports all Internet browsers.
However, the use of Chinese domain names is only limited to Chinese websites, and may not extend to a global. Mok felt that the next five years will see an acute rise in the number of Internet users in mainland China, Chinese domain names will be the vital tool in breaking into the China market.
Target clients will be local enterprises
HKNet said the service will be targeted at local enterprises, and it will be registering 'www.company name.com' in the first phase. HKNet is already liaising with relevant organizations, and hopes to launch Chinese domain names ending with '.com.hk'.
Mok added that registration for personal domain name will follow soon, but for the first phase of registration now, the domain name applied for must be relevant to the applicant's company and its business.
Registration for each Chinese domain name is at HK$960 for the first two years, plus a handling fee of HK$500.
Ever since the Internet was launched, there have been many cases speculation of domain names, with HSBC landing a lawsuit over its 'hsbc.com' domain name that was taken up by another party.
Will Chinese domain names face the same speculation?
While Mok agreed that many companies do have almost identical names, he justified that registration for domain names is conducted on a first-come-first-served basis, and companies will be registered as long as the domain name applied for is relevant to the company's businesses. The same company may even register for several domain names.
Although HKNet has already worked out a dispute policy to help police disputes, Mok advised that companies register their domain names fast as a preventive measure.
-- Translated Article