HKIRC Officially Launches Full Chinese .香港 Domain Name
Encouraging Response during Soft Launch
Indicating Need for .香港 Domain in Hong Kong



HONG KONG, 24 March 2011 – Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) today announced the official launch of the full Chinese .香港 Internationalised Country Code Top Level Domain (.香港 domain name). HKIRC has received positive response during the half-month soft launch period, with about 20,000 .香港 domain names activated. This encouraging feedback shows the great demand for the .香港 domain name among businesses and in the community.

“The launch of the .香港 domain name is not just a local event. It recognises the fruits of the research efforts over the past ten years on how best to introduce Chinese domain names in the Chinese speaking parts of the world.” said Mr. John Estmond Strickland, GBS, JP, Chairman of HKIRC. “At the same time, we are very pleased to announce that the number of .hk domain name registrations surpassed 200,000 in January this year.”

The launch of the .香港 Chinese suffix, with support for both simplified and traditional Chinese characters, enables the use of easy-to-remember and easy-to-understand Chinese words as the domain names for websites. The .香港 domain name can help raise brand and product awareness for businesses and allow potential customers who can read and write only Chinese in the Greater China region to easily access these websites, hence opening up potential new market opportunities.

Officiating at the launch ceremony for the .香港 domain name today, Mr. Stephen Mak, JP, Government Chief Information Officer said, “The introduction of full Chinese domain name represents a significant development of the DNS Internet infrastructure in Hong Kong. The new service will certainly give momentum to the community in building cyber identities and brands using Chinese domain names, and encourage further development of portals and online services for the Chinese-speaking people.”

Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush, Chair of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was a guest of honour at the official launch ceremony for the .香港 domain name. He said, “The introduction of this internationalised domain name means far more than simply adding another language to the top level of an Internet address. It will serve as an open invitation to millions of new Internet users to explore the most amazing global communications network man has ever devised.”

Many of the early registrations were generic words and company or product names from local brands, consumer brands, travel agencies, theme parks, food and beverage brands, Chinese medicine brands, banks and financial institutions, shopping arcades, office and residential complexes, educational institutions, non-profit organisations, public utilities and government departments, reflecting the importance of being visible and generating brand awareness on the Internet for a diverse range of industries and organisations.

“We are pleased to officially launch the .香港 domain name and witness the overwhelming response from the business sector and the community. HKIRC will continue to promote the use of .hk and .香港 domain names, working closely with the industry and related organisations to promote the use of the .香港 domain name in the community. Together, we will bring the benefits of the use of .香港 domain names and the Internet to different sectors of our society, helping strengthen the healthy development of the Internet in Hong Kong,” said Mr. Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC.

Panelists for the discussion session included Mr. Choi Yu Shing, Unit-in-Charge of Youth SPOT21, HKFYG, Mr. Timothy Chow, General Manager of Cerebos (Hong Kong) Limited, Mr. Lawrence Leung, Information System Manager of Sunflower Travel Service Limited and Mr. Kelvin Woo, Business Development Manager of Speedy Group Corporation Limited. They shared their valuable insight in regard to the benefits and competitive advantages of using .香港.

The .香港 domain name is planned to be opened for public registration in May this year.

Registrations for a Chinese .香港 and an English .hk domain name of the same category will be at the price of one. Except those who have successfully registered a Chinese .香港 domain name during the soft launch period, all existing or new customers of English .hk domain names will be eligible to register a Chinese .香港 domain name of the same category at no additional charge when public registration commences.

For details, please visit www.hkirc.hk.

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About HKIRC
Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) is a not-for-profit, non-statutory company limited by guarantee designated by the Government of the HKSAR to undertake the administration of Internet domain names under the .hk country code top level domain. HKIRC provides registration services for English domain names ending with .com.hk, .org.hk, .net.hk, .edu.hk, .gov.hk, .idv.hk, .hk and Chinese domain names ending with .公司.香港, .組織.香港, .網絡.香港, .教育.香港, .政府.香港, .個人.香港, .香港, and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.


Media Contacts:

HKIRC
Dorothy Chow / Ivy Or
Tel : + 852 2319 3883 / 23193828
Fax : + 852 2319 2626
Email : marketing@hkirc.hk

iPR Ogilvy
Karen Lee / Annie Ho
Tel : + 852 3920 7670 / 3920 7663
Fax : + 852 3170 6606
Email : karen.lee@iprogilvy.com / annie.ho@iprogilvy.com