Registrations in '.hk' ccTLD planned to start in January

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC), the body responsible for administering the '.hk' domain space, has announced plans to accept registrations in the '.hk' country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). The new system has a tentative start date of January 2004.

The current system only allows applicants to apply to the Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HKIRC, to reserve second-level domain names (2LD) according to the category into which they fall:

  • '.idv.hk' for individuals holding a Hong Kong identity card;

  • '.com.hk' for commercial entities holding a valid business registration in Hong Kong;

  • '.net.hk' for licensed Hong Kong network service providers;

  • '.org.hk' for non-profit organizations operating in Hong Kong;

  • '.edu.hk' for tertiary education institutions and schools in Hong Kong; or

  • '.gov.hk' for Hong Kong government entities.

While '.hk' domain names are popular with some 65,000 2LDs registered, it is expected that allowing ccTLD registrations will spur a renewal of interest as applicants will no longer be limited to specific categories of domain names.

Existing 2LDs will not be automatically migrated to the corresponding ccTLDs. However, a sunrise period will enable existing owners of 2LDs to register ccTLDs before the system opens to all applicants on a first come, first served basis. This will be accompanied by a simplified registration process where documentary proof as to the applicant's business will no longer be required - unless the applicant uses certain designated words such as 'bank', 'insurance' or 'assurance'.

Ai-Leen Lim and Edward A Madden, Colin Ng & Partners, Hong Kong

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