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Afilias and HiChina Form Partnership to Identify, Support Chinese Brands for ICANN New TLD Program

Afilias Limited, a global provider of Internet domain name registry and Managed DNS services, today announced that it has entered into a formal agreement with Chinese Internet services leader HiChina, a subsidiary of Alibaba.com, to help Chinese brands take advantage of ICANN's forthcoming New TLD Program.

The agreement recognizes HiChina's leadership and customer service excellence, and names HiChina as Afilias' preferred new TLD partner in China. Chinese brands who intend to establish a dot.BRAND presence online will benefit from the combined resources of Afilias, a global leader in new TLD registry services, and HiChina, a trusted Chinese market Internet expert.

"With the world's largest Internet population, China also represents one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Brands based in China need unique marketing approaches to reach this large, diverse pool of consumers. One approach is a 'dot.BRAND' name, meaning the use of a brand name instead of a .com or .net," said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President of Afilias. "A dot.BRAND TLD lets major companies control how customers experience their brand online and helps break through the noise and clutter online."

LaPlante added, "With the tremendous rise of Chinese language on the Internet, our partnership will enable Chinese brands to present their domains in Chinese script rather than in English alone."

"Chinese consumers want domain names and websites in their own language. The combined experience of Afilias and HiChina will provide a great user experience for the Chinese market," said Bridge Song, Vice President of HiChina.

HiChina is the leading Internet services provider in China, and provides comprehensive Web services to Chinese enterprises, including domain registration, hosting, email systems and website creation & management.

"With HiChina's reach and influence in the Chinese enterprise market, and Afilias' successful history of supporting more TLDs than any other company, this partnership helps ensure that Chinese brands are on equal footing with Western brands applying for dot.BRAND TLDs," added Bridge Song.

ICANN is expected to approve the new TLD program on June 20, 2011, at the current ICANN global meeting in Singapore.

Brands interested in pursuing a dot.BRAND approach will need to act quickly to develop strong, compelling proposals to ICANN for their desired new TLD string, one of many areas where Afilias is able to assist TLD applicants. Other Afilias TLD registry services include a "thick" EPP registry, a globally diverse and redundant Anycast DNS network, and 24x7 call-center and technical support.

In addition, Afilias offers other premium solutions to augment its registry offering, including technology to enable mobile phone compatibility for websites and a unique IDN-capable email solution. All Afilias services are DNSSEC and IPv6 ready, and reflect 10 years of experience in supporting gTLDs operating under ICANN contracts.

About HiChina

HiChina, a subsidiary of Alibaba.com, is the leading Internet services provider in China. HiChina provides comprehensive Web services to enterprises, including domain registration, hosting, enterprise email systems, enterprise website creation & management, and e-commerce applications consultation. HiChina is an accredited domain registrar by both ICANN and CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center). Currently, HiChina manages and hosts more than three million English and Chinese domains, and also serves more than 500,000 enterprise users with fast, stable and secure websites and email hosting services. Headquartered in Beijing, HiChina currently has 16 branches and more than 10,000 agents in 31 provinces and cities across China. Visit http://en.hichina.com to learn more.

About Afilias

Afilias

Afilias is the world's second largest domain registry, with more than 20 million names under management. Afilias powers a greater variety of top-level domains than any other provider, and will soon support hundreds of new TLDs now preparing for launch. Afilias' specialized technology makes Internet addresses more accessible and useful through a wide range of applications, including Internet domain registry services, Managed DNS and mobile Web services like goMobi® and DeviceAtlas®. (Learn More)

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Top-Level Domains

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