The Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (“HKIRC”) will officially launch the all- Chinese .hk domain names, i.e. “[Chinese-character].香港” (.hk in Chinese), to replace the currently used “[Chinese-character].hk” (.hk in English) domain names as early as May 31, 2011.

The official launch of the all-Chinese .hk domain name will span all seven categories of domain names available in Hong Kong, namely, .香港 (.hk), .公司.香港 (.com.hk), .網絡.香港 (.net.hk), .組織.香港 (.org.hk), .教育.香港 (.edu.hk), .個人.香港 (.idv.hk) and .政府.香港 (.gov.hk). Applications will be open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Since early 2011, the HKIRC has ceased to accept applications for “[Chinese-character].hk” domain names but the existing registrations will continue to be supported and can be renewed.

To promote the use of this new type of all-Chinese domain name, qualified holders of “[Englishcharacter]. hk” and “[Chinese-character].hk” domain names will be given a free domain name for each existing registration in the same category, and these bundled domain names will have the same term of registration. As an incentive to new applicants for the all-Chinese .hk domain names, they will be given a free “[English-character].hk” domain name in the same category for each of their applications filed. For example:

Click here to view table.

Chinese-character domain names are important intellectual property assets and useful marketing tools for the Greater China market, both online and offline.