HKIRC MEMBERSHIP CONTRIBUTES TO A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR E-SOCIETY IN HONG KONG

HONG KONG, 23 January 2003 - Inaugurated on 22 April 2002, Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited ("HKIRC"), HKIRC today issues an invitation to membership and announces its new product plan for 2003. These initiatives will support HKIRC as well as the Hong Kong SAR Government in driving Hong Kong's domain name development to be in line with global trend, and will strengthen the foundation for a better e-Society in Hong Kong.

In its quest for full representation of Hong Kong's Internet domain name constituents, HKIRC recently launched its first membership scheme for Hong Kong's Internet domain name user community. All ".hk" domain name holders who have completed re-registration or have registered after 1 June 2001 are qualified and invited to enroll for membership. Members who successfully registered on or before 31 January 2003 will be eligible to nominate, vote or stand for the coming HKIRC's Board election in early March 2003. The results of the election will be confirmed during HKIRC's Annual General Meeting in late March 2003. Interested persons are encouraged to register online through the HKIRC web site as soon as possible. No membership fee will be levied in the first year. Detailed information regarding the membership registration and election process is available on the HKIRC Web site at https://members.hkirc.hk/.

"We are committed to the development and improvement of Hong Kong's Internet domain name registration services, which must align and evolve with the expectation of all sectors of the user community," says Mr. Joseph Yu, Chairman of the Board of HKIRC, who is also a member of the Executive Board of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce. Members will be divided into User Class, Service Provider Class, IT Industry Class, Commerce and Industry Class, Government Class and Tertiary Institution Class. There are specific prerequisites to be met in order to be admitted to a specific member class. Details are defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of HKIRC, which is available on HKIRC's web site.

HKIRC, a non profit-making and non-statutory corporation, was established in Dec 2001 and has taken up the role as the administrator of ".hk" domain names since April 2002. "Since its inauguration, HKIRC has been fully committed to facilitate the increasing Internet activities in Hong Kong by providing a customer-oriented service to the whole community, We now have approximately 63,000 second-level domain names registered under '.hk', with around 1,000 new registrations received every month," comments Mr. Jonathan Shea, Acting CEO of HKIRC.

In line with the rapid development of the Internet and electronic commerce in Hong Kong, HKIRC is going to introduce new domain name categories such as ".idv.hk" and ".hk" to cater for the needs of both individual users and the corporate sector in Hong Kong. Mr. Shea adds, ".idv.hk will be the first product scheduled to be launched in the early part of this year. This new category will be designated for Hong Kong residents, and will enable individual Internet users to establish their own domain identity on the Internet."

With the support of member participation, HKIRC looks forward to launching more new products and improving its services to help build Hong Kong's e-Society and position HKIRC as a leading domain name administrator in the world.

About HKIRC

HKIRC was established as a non-profit-making and non-statutory organization to oversee the administration and assignment of the country-code top level domain (ccTLD), i.e. ".hk", for Hong Kong. In addition, HKIRC represents Hong Kong in international Internet forums and plays a key role in facilitating Hong Kong's e-business development.

As the administrator of ".hk" domain names, HKIRC assumes the responsibility of registration and assignment of Internet domain names ending with ".com.hk", ".org.hk", ".net.hk", ".edu.hk" and ".gov.hk" and any other Domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.

If you need further information, please feel free to contact our Marketing & Communication Officer, Ms Lute Yip at +852 2319 3828 / +852 2319 3824 for details.