News & Insights

A Beginner’s Guide: Which Domain Should I Use? .com or .hk?

4 February 2022

If you are a beginner, then you may have heard that you need a domain to make a website. Whether they are start-ups or long-established traditional brands, most companies have adjusted their strategies in the past two years to transform their business online and stay close to consumers. For those new to the world of online business, one of the inevitable questions they face when registering a website is: Should they choose “.com” or “.com.hk”?

 

Stricter registration process to gain consumer confidence

 

From domain name registrant, the most significant difference between “.com” and “.com.hk” lies in the difference in registration requirements. While the former has no restrictions and any individual or organization can apply, the latter is only open to companies registered in Hong Kong, and multiple verifications are required for registrants to successfully register the domain name. At first glance, the former seems more convenient if you want to keep things simple, but don't forget that the original purpose of setting up a website is not to save effort, but to create new touchpoints to reach potential consumers, which in turn leads to more business opportunities.

 

High security ".com.hk" reduces the risk of phishing sites

 

Imagine you are the consumer and to shop online, you have to enter sensitive privacy information such as personal identification information, credit card information, and even your home address. Would you choose to trust a highly vetted merchant or an online shopping platform that anyone could set up? A survey on cybercrime in 2020 found that the most common cases were phishing traps. More than half of the world's 110,000 phishing sites are registered with “.com” domain names. In contrast, “.com.hk” not only undergoes rigorous screening by HKIRC, but also provide a range of free value-added services to help businesses maintain cybersecurity as a top priority, including 24-hour support services, regular website scans to check for potential risks, and other related support to give consumers more confidence when shopping online at “.com.hk”.

 

Target potential customers and focus on the local market

 

For SMEs and start-ups that focus on Hong Kong as their main customer base, a domain name with “.hk” in it will be displayed first in the search engines because the system will show the most relevant results based on the user's region, meaning that search engines will automatically rank “.hk” higher by default. In other words, when you search for abc in Hong Kong, “www.abc.com.hk” will display a higher rank than "www.abc.com", which in turn brings more exposure to the website, reaches more potential customers, and helps to expand the customer base for companies with lesser visibility. Currently, many potential “.com.hk” domain names are still open for registration, which means you can design and create your domain name. Don't miss the opportunity to register a domain name that fits your business aspirations! For more information on .hk domain registration, please visit the HKIRC website: https://www.hkirc.hk/