Under a multi-year agreement between e-Lux Corporation and Sterling Holdings, which manages the worldwide registry for second-level domain names in the .AI, .EC and .LA top-level domains, eJapan DNS will be the exclusive source in Japan for web addresses ending in .AI and .EC.
.AI is the first domain specifically targeted at the Japanese youth market, with a focus on female users. This group drives the majority of Japanese trends such as movies, magazines, music, fashion, travel, dining, and many other areas. Internet usage amongst females has grown steadily in Japan: 38% of Internet users and half of all new Internet users, are women. .AI is a new domain, never previously sold in Japan, and offers registrees a high chance of obtaining their preferred domain names in both Japanese and English.
.EC is a top level domain name denoting commercial entities engaged in any form of e-commerce, whether actually selling products and services via the Internet, just providing information, or hosting a directory gateway with links to other commercial entities. As a new domain, never previously used, it also offers registrees a high chance of obtaining their preferred domain names in both Japanese and English.
Japan's business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce will grow 450% between 2000 and 2005 to 124 trillion yen, according to a recent study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in conjunction with the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council and consulting firm Accenture.
"We are very pleased to be working with such a focused company as e-Lux Corporation in the world's second largest Internet market," said Garry Donoghue, Chief Executive of Sterling Holdings.
Registration of names in English and Japanese for the .AI domain will be opened in June, and registration for the .EC domain will follow.
"We have secured two uniquely branded domain products. .AI is the first domain to address the needs of Japan's youth market." said Edward Milward-Oliver, President of e-Lux Corporation. "Japanese companies engaged in any form of e-commerce will immediately benefit from being able to use EC in their web addresses."
The number of Internet users in Japan is expected to rise to 104 million in 2005, from 39 million in 2000 according to a recent study by market research firm IDC Japan. The rapid growth in Internet access by mobile phones will be one of the main factors. The study further forecasts that 32 percent of Japan's total population will be shopping online by 2005.
e-Lux Corporation estimates the total domain name market in Japan will be worth in excess of 215 billion yen over the next four years, with high demand driven by the introduction of multilingual domain names, a greater use of domain names in online branding and trademark protection by Japanese companies, and the significant growth of the e-commerce sector.
About e-Lux Corporation
e-Lux Corporation provides worldwide multi-platform billing services for digital transactions, and domain name registration services for corporations and individuals. In addition to its domestic operations in Japan, the company has subsidiaries and strategic partnerships in South-East Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. The company trades on the Tokyo OTC market under stock code 6811.
About Sterling Holdings Limited
Sterling Holdings manages the exclusive worldwide registry for second-level domain names in the .EC, .AI and .LA (www.la) top-level domains. The company has offices in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Seattle.