Domain name registration in China

A Chinese domain name is a distinct online identifier representing the registrant’s value and orientation in China. A foreign company that has set up its business network in China, e.g. a branch company, representative office, distribution channel etc., or is planning to expand its business into China soon, may deem a Chinese domain name containing the company's brand name or relevant keywords an important way to enhance its corporate image and succeed in the market.

While China has experienced tremendous growth in the number of credible private sector firms and many Canadian firms have done business successfully with them, the number of scams associated with domain names in China is increasing.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in China is aware of a number of Canadian companies that have received suspicious domain registration enquiries from Chinese enterprises.

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Official paths to registering a domain name

The China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) is the official Chinese government body with this responsibility. The CNNIC is a non-profit organization with English and Chinese language capability authorized by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) to operate and administer China's domain name registry for China's country code Top Level Domain known as ".cn". Based in Beijing, all .cn domain name registrations are centralized through the CNNIC.

How to register a ".cn" domain name:

Types of scams

Chinese companies who claim that they are authorized registrars of CNNIC or other official bodies have been known to approach foreign companies, asserting that a third party has applied for a certain domain name whose keywords are identical to that of the foreign company.

How to dispute ownership of a domain name

If an organisation deems that its legal rights and interests have been breached as a result of a particular domain name being registered by another party, it should consult the CNNIC and/or its recognized arbitration organizations, namely CIETAC and HKIAC. You may be responsible for collecting supporting evidence to prove violation of copyright and providing enough documentation to quote your actual loss suffered from a violation.

Further Suggestions

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in China has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Readers should take note that the Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in this report, nor does it necessarily endorse the organizations listed herein. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information.

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