HKNet, which launched the Chinese domain name registration service in mid January this year, said response to the service has been great, with a few thousands companies having already registered their Chinese domain names.
HKNet is planning to launch very shortly, the registration for domain names ending with suffixes other than '.com', '.org' and '.net'.
According to statistics by the Hong Kong Network Information Centre, there are more than 27,000 registered domain names in Hong Kong at present, all of which were registered in English.
As such, for HKnet to have registered a few thousand Chinese domain names in a span of a little more than a month's time is quite commendable.
HKNet is one of two registrars (the other being 3GNIC) providing registration services for Chinese domain names. Both companies leverage upon strategic partnerships struck with multilingual Internet technologies provider i-DNS.net International.
Although current Chinese domain names are restricted to the three main domain types, i.e., '.com', '.org' and '.net', HKNet hopes to launch other domain types very shortly. Details have yet to be confirmed.
Currently the registration fees for Chinese domain names are slightly higher than English domain names. HKNet for example, charges HK$960 for the first two years for every registered domain name, with a handling fee of HK$500 and subsequent yearly subscriptions at HK$480.
Registered users are required to make a two-yearly payment upon registration and this fee will get you a Chinese domain name in both the Simplified and Traditional forms. This means that all registered domain names will also be usable in the Greater China region.
There have been past practices of cybersquatting with English domain names. High profile names were registered by speculators and then sold later for a premium. (ie: 'business.com' was sold for US$7.5mil.)
Asked whether Chinese domain names will fall prey to similar speculations, HKNet said that in order to prevent speculations of domain names, only companies with relevant business registrations may register commercial domain names.
To avoid any discrepancies, individual applicants will not be allowed to register for companies' domain names. On the other hand, HKNet will not interfere into matters regarding transfers of domain names, but companies involved in a transfer have to follow legal procedures and regulations during the transfer process. HKNet believes this will reduce to a certain extent, the ugly spectre of cybersquatting.
-- Translated Article