TIMELY LAUNCH OF '.HK' CHINESE DOMAIN NAME TO MEET THE NEEDS OF HONG KONG BUSINESSES AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE

Overwhelming Response to Chinese Domain Name with almost 7,000 Applications
Received During Soft Launch Period

HONG KONG, March 8, 2007 - Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR) jointly announce today the official launch of the new ‘.hk’ Chinese Domain Name (CDN). With the very encouraging feedback received during the five-month soft launch period, HKDNR is optimistic about the popularity of this new CDN service, which will deliver economic, social and technological benefits for Hong Kong businesses and the general public.

Mr. Christopher To, Chairman of HKDNR, endorsing the adoption of the ‘.hk’ CDN, said, “Leveraging on technology and market readiness in Hong Kong, the launch of the new ‘.hk’ Chinese Domain Name will strengthen the social and business networking potential of the Internet for the Chinese community all over the world. HKDNR is fully confident that the ‘.hk’ Chinese Domain Name will gain momentum in Hong Kong very quickly as it meets the needs of both the Hong Kong business and social communities.”

“We received overwhelming response from the community, with 6,862 applications during the soft launch period. These positive results testify to both the need and the great support for ‘.hk’ Chinese Domain Names as shown by users in different sectors,” added Mr. Jonathan Shea, Chief Executive Officer of HKDNR.

Many of the early applications were from luxury brands, consumer brands, banks and financial institutions, shopping arcades, office and residential complexes, educational institutions, public utilities and government departments and programs such as Brand Hong Kong, reflecting the importance of brand awareness and visibility on the Internet for a diverse range of industries and organizations. During the third phase, registration right was opened to the public. Applicants included a wide array of individuals from all walks of life, including some celebrities.

Hong Kong, as China’s key trade partner, has distinct advantages. One of these is its prime location in close geographical proximity to Mainland China and Taiwan, and another is its new ‘.hk’ Chinese Domain Name, perfectly timed to meet the needs of the market as business activities continue to increase in the region.

Mr. Shea said, “With the launch of the ‘.hk’ CDN, Chinese companies and individuals can more easily search for Hong Kong companies via the Internet. An easy-to-remember CDN can raise a company’s brand awareness and its website traffic, which can help Hong Kong enterprises tap into the Greater China market.’

Hong Kong’s position as an international e-commerce center can be solidified as the ’.hk’ CDN spurs local enterprises to make better use of the Internet and related technology. With the development of security and the bilingual capability of the Internet, Hong Kong people and companies will be more comfortable establishing their own websites with the launch of this new service.

The ’.hk’ CDN is compatible with both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. This makes the Internet a truly convenient social networking tool for Chinese people around the world and encourages the Hong Kong community to create individual web-based content and share it with anyone on the Internet.

The promising potential, complemented by easy-to-use technology and market readiness, makes this an ideal time to launch the ‘.hk’ CDN. The technology is based on the internationalized double-byte language code currently employed in Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea for domain names in these respective languages. The ‘.hk’ CDN is also compatible with a number of widely used web browsers, such as Internet Explorer (IE) Version 7 for Windows, Safari for Mac OS and Palm OS and Windows CE for handheld devices.

As a member of the Chinese Domain Name Consortium, comprising Country-code Domain Name authorities in Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Singapore, HKDNR has worked closely with Internet organizations in the region for technology exchange to ensure that the ’.hk’ CDN complies with international standards.

This comprehensive compatibility is the result of the encouraging comments and feedback gathered from a six-month trial in mid-2005 and a six-week public consultation period in early 2006, followed by the ‘.hk’ CDN soft launch period from September 2006 to February 2007.

Mr. Howard Dickson, Government Chief Information Officer, officiated as Guest of Honor at the launch event today. Dr. Fleming Woo, Acting Director of IT, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Mr. Lau Kam Kwok, Chairman, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals; and Mr. Cheung To, CEO, UDomain Web Hosting Company Ltd., were panelists at the discussion session entitled “Chinese Domain Name – Springboard for business and lifestyle enhancement”, shedding light on the competitive advantages and benefits of using CDN.

In order to generate broader awareness and promote the adoption of the ‘.hk’ CDN, a series of special promotional activities are also being rolled out. To inspire students’ innovation and creativity, and in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the HKSAR, HKDNR is offering a special program for all Hong Kong students. From now until March 31, 2007, applicants with student status can enjoy a special price for using.個人.hk, with details as follows:

1-yr contract$10
2-yr contract$20
3-yr contract$30
5-yr contract$50

In addition, all CDN applicants who donate to Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGH) from now until March 8, 2008, will be honored with a philanthropist e-logo, which can be displayed on their websites. Details on this noteworthy and generous cause can be found on the official HKDNR website (www.hkdnr.hk).

About HKIRC and HKDNR
Hong Kong Internet Registration Cooperation Limited (HKIRC) is a non-profit making organization endorsed by the Government of the HKSAR to oversee the administration and assignment of the Internet domain names ending with ‘.hk’. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR), HKIRC provides registration services for the 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.hk’, ‘組織.hk’, ‘網絡.hk’, ‘教育.hk’, ‘政府.hk’, ‘個人.hk’, ‘.hk’; and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.

Press Contacts:

HKDNR
Annie Shiu
+852 2319 3828
iPR communications
Liza Ng
+852 3178 9010


Annie Ho
+852 2131 8933