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UK firms risk losing online brands to Asian rivals

NetNames urges businesses to act now to secure their .asia web address.

April 5, 2007; 03:13 AM
London – Businesses must act now to secure their Asian internet presence as the new .asia domain name becomes a reality. NetNames, which manages the domain name portfolios for over 30 per cent of the FTSE 100, is one of the first accredited registrars for .asia, and is urging British businesses to beat competitors and cybersquatters across Asia out of the starting blocks and protect their brands and trademarks online. In China alone there are over 123 million internet users and over 780,000 registered .cn domain names and as the entire region continues to experience record economic growth, local and western businesses will have to move quickly to secure their Asian brands online.

12 months on from the launch of the long-awaited European .eu domain name, over 2.6 million addresses have been registered, making it the most successful new domain launch ever. British businesses have registered over 440,000 .eu domain names in the past year but still lag way behind Germany which has registered over 790,000. The new .asia domain name will cover 73 countries in the Asia/Australia/Pacific region and competition is expected to be as fierce with organisations from neighbouring countries all keen to stake their claims to the most popular domain names. Applications for the new .asia domain name will be split into three ‘sunrise’ phases.

The first sunrise period, expected to begin in June is for government bodies in the region while the second sunrise period, expected to be from September is open to trademark owners. The third sunrise is period anticipated to open in November for any company operating in the Asia-Pacific region. All sunrise applicants will have to give evidence of official registration as a company in the region. The .asia domain name will then go into the so-called ‘landrush’ phase, pencilled in for February 2008 and open up to anyone in the region.

Jonathan Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, NetNames comments, "The launch of .eu a year ago was a major wake up call for a lot of big brands, not least Nestle and Ralph Lauren who dramatically lost out to Volkswagen on the right to the domain name. Asia is a major growth market for established western brands and they will have to be at the top of their game to avoid losing the rights to their online Asian brands to competitors, counterfeiters and cybersquatters. Given the importance of this new domain name we would urge companies to make applications as early as possible. Applications will be dealt with in the order in which they are received so any delay could mean names being registered by other parties with the consequent loss of brand value."

About NetNames

NetNames is part of London listed Group NBT plc (LSE: NBT). Through its industry leading domain name management service, NetNames Platinum Service, the company is responsible for managing and protecting online brands for international corporates, including in excess of 30% of the FTSE 100. The company provides domain names, website hosting and email services for a range of customers – from the home user up to enterprise level. NetNames is an ICANN Accredited Registrar with the ability to register domain names in all available suffixes worldwide. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Nice, Frankfurt and Madrid. For further information, visit

For further information please contact:
Peter Bowles, Hotwire, tel: 0207 608 4649, Email: [email protected], or
Ivan Ristic, Hotwire, tel: 020 7608 4647, Email: [email protected]

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