It is not uncommon to receive unsolicited emails from domain
registrars warning of imminent domain registrations by third
parties. Generally, this email is a means by which some registrars
solicit business in China. In many cases there is no actual third
party attempting to register the domain in question.
When receiving such domain name emails we suggest that clients
consider the following measures:
1. If the domain is not yet registered:
Importance of domains in China –
Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, increasingly
turn to the internet for information. A failure to secure the
proper domain names may prevent a business from leveraging an
important forum to provide information to its customers, damage
brand reputation, dilute trademarks or confuse customers. Domain
name registration is relatively inexpensive and easy.
Registering a ".com.cn" or ".cn"
domain – Companies actively doing business
in China are recommended to consider registering their domain name
in the ".com.cn" and ".cn" domains in addition
to the common ".com" domain. It is easy to search the
database of the China Internet Network Information Center
("CNNIC") to establish whether domain
names are still available for registration.
Internet Keywords – More common in
China than in Western countries is the registration of internet
keywords in China (i.e. words that can be typed into the navigation
toolbar directly – often the actual company name).
Internet keywords are commonly called "General Website
Addresses". Such internet keywords can greatly facilitate
Chinese-speaking consumers who wish to find your company but have
difficulty recalling long English domain names.
2. If the domain name is already registered by a third
If an important domain is already registered by a third party
then you will need to file a complaint or file suit against the
registered party according to Articles 5 or 15 of the Measures of
the China Internet Network Information Center for Resolving Domain
Name Disputes to cancel or transfer the domain name
You will need to challenge the domain registration through a
Dispute Resolution Institute authorized by CNNIC (CIETAC and HKIAC
are authorized by CNNIC to solve the dispute of .cn domain names)
or take legal action against the owner of the domain names in
3. If important Internet Keywords have been registered
in the name of a third party
If a third party has applied to register important Internet
Keywords (i.e. the company's name) then it may be sufficiently
serious enough to challenge such application and register the
Internet Keywords according to the Measures of General Website
Address Registration Dispute.
You may challenge the internet keywords registration through a
Dispute Resolution Institute authorized by CNNIC (CIETAC is a
CNNIC-accredited institute to solve the dispute of internet keyword
registration), or bring an action before the court against the
registered owner of the internet keywords in question.
If a company has no plans to do business in China currently, the
company may simply ignore a third party registration. However,
companies should nonetheless consider whether another party's
registration and use of such domain name will damage the
company's brand reputation, dilute its trademark or confuse its
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As per a 2015 survey by Nasscom (the National Association of Software and Service Companies) India has paved the way to secure the third position in the world with three to four startups emerging every day, primarily in the areas of e-commerce, consumer services and aggregators.
Joint Ventures are still a popular investment vehicle for many
foreign investors who do business in China. Sino-foreign joint
ventures can take the form of equity joint ventures or cooperative
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).