Is someone claiming that another company is registering your domain name in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan?

Here at KASS, many clients have reported receiving e-mails from Registrars in China stating that their trademark or company name is being used as part of a Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong or other domain name application and unless our clients register the domain names urgently, the Registrar will have no alternative but to register the domain name for the third party.

The format of the e-mail might look something like this:

Dear CEO,

We are the department of Asian Domain Dispute Registration Service in China. Here we have something to confirm with you. We received an application on Dec 15. One company called “Repeate Trading Co. LTD” is applying for “kass” as their internet brand and the following Asian/.CN domain names.

kass.asia

kass.com.tw

kass.hk

kass.net.cn

kass.org.cn

kass.tw

kass.sg

kass.vn

After checking, we found the internet brand and keyword of these domain names conflicts with your company, so we need to check this with your company.

If the aforesaid company is your subsidiary company or your business partner, please DO NOT reply to us, we will approve the application automatically. If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by “Repeate Trading Co. LTD” unconditionally.

Best Regards,

[Name removed]

Upon perusal of the e-mails, we noticed that all of these e-mails are similar in that they all originate from China, they all have a deadline to respond and they all mention not just one country-based domain name application which the third party is planning to allegedly hijack, but three or more (the usual ones being .cn, .com.cn, .com.tw, .com.hk and .net.cn).

The e-mails seem dubious because the clients who have received them are large local companies that own well-known trademarks in Malaysia but have yet to venture into China and as such they do not have a reputation in China. So why would some third party seek to hijack our clients’ Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong domain name?

The plausible reasoning behind these e-mails is that the Registrars are monitoring or observing large companies in Malaysia and sending these e-mails to scare the companies into registering the country-based domain names through them (who are all surprisingly, Registrars authorized by the Chinese Internet Network Information Centre, which administers Chinese domain names).

What can and should you do?

There are two options in this situation:

  1. If you are seeking to register the domain names in the countries mentioned, then you can either go ahead and register with the Registrar who sent you the e-mail or use another Registrar whom you trust to maintain the domain name and send you reminders when the domain name is due for renewal.

The registration of a country-based domain name (.com.my for Malaysia, .com.cn for China, .com.in for India, .com.vn for Vietnam, and so forth) is a decision to be made according to the geographics of the business.

If the business is actively pursued in a particular country or if the business is present in a country (through a distributor, trademark licensee, etc.), it is advisable for companies to register a country-based domain name. By having a countrybased domain, your company can attract internet traffic from the locals of the particular country and block competitors from riding on your goodwill. It is also possible for you to have a website on the country-based domain in the local language of that country. This boosts the presence of your company in that country and marketing initiatives for local consumers will be more personalized. 

  1. If you have assessed whether you need a country-based domain name and decide against it, you should ignore the e-mail sent by the Registrar.

How we can help further?

We assist clients by working with trusted Registrars to register domain names in Malaysia and in other countries in Asia and also manage the domain names by sending renewal reminders before the expiry of each domain name

We also advise clients in domain name disputes, for example, if a third party registers your domain name and you would like to have the domain transferred back to you, we advise on the procedure involved in securing the domain name. The procedure and cost in taking a domain name dispute action against the party which misappropriated your domain name varies from country to country.

In Malaysia, all .my domain name dispute resolutions are governed by the MYDRP, the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy prepared by MYNIC. The domain name dispute resolution proceeding or the domain name dispute can be resolved before a Malaysian Court, arbitration or through a dispute resolution process.

The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) will manage the entire domain name dispute resolution process and decide the .my domain name disputes.

To date, there are 30 domain name disputes in Malaysia which have been resolved at the KLRCA.