Asian domain up for grabs

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Asian domain up for grabs

The first round of the registration period for the new top-level .asia domain opens 9 October, promising organisations that are based in or trade with countries in that region a greater online presence.

The .asia domain could be one of the most popular in many years, given the growth in the population, economic prosperity and internet users in the region in recent years, according to Thomas Herbert from registrar Hostway.

“A .asia domain will show you have clear representation there and allow you to target the relevant part of your site [at this region],” Herbert argued. “But it’s getting more difficult to register generic domains than it used to – you should bolster it with enough paperwork to show you’re entitled.”

Robin Fry, a partner in the technology and commerce practice at law firm Beachcroft, agreed that firms need to be “obsessive about the information required” for registration but added that most firms would not actively use their new .asia suffix.

“Most international companies will register defensively,” Fry argued. “People are getting very astute about getting domain names now, so a lot are jostling for position.”

Fry explained that the registration process for .asia – which includes an auction process – is unlikely to suffer the problems that plagued the .eu registration system, when many firms with legitimate trademarks were unable to claim them due to a first come first served process.

But Lesley Cowley, chief executive of .uk registry Nominet, argued that many firms in the Asia region may prefer to stick with the individual domains of their respective countries. “There are a number of businesses, however, who are saying, ‘We can’t carry on defensively registering forever’,” she added.
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