Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

New Regulations for Registering Domain Names in China


									                                                                 CHINESE DOMAIN NAMES

        nEw rEGUlations for
          rEGistErinG doMain
               naMEs in cHina
                Companies seeking to register .cn      China’s Internet Network Information Center
                                                       (CNNIC), authorised by the Ministry of Industry
              domain names should beware of the        and Information Technology of the People’s
                                                       Republic of China (MIIT), has responsibility
               potential dangers, says Xiang Gao.      for operating and administering China’s domain
                                                       name registry: the .cn country code top level
                                                       domain (ccTLD) and the Chinese Domain
                                                       Name (CDN) system. A Chinese domain name
                                                       contains Chinese characters.                     World Intellectual Property Review Annual 2010          19

On December 15, 2009, MIIT circulated a notice         to an enterprise, a department, a society, an
about a special campaign to handle online              association or a non-profit organisation founded
pornographic content, directing responsibility to      and existing under the relevant laws of China.
different authorities and organisations in China,      The Certificate of National Organization Code
including CNNIC and accredited service registrars.     is issued by the National Administration for
Because some operators of pornographic websites        Code Allocation to Organizations under the
had been evading supervision by frequently             General Administration of Quality Supervision,             “IF A FOREIGN COMPANY
switching domain names and IP addresses,               Inspection and Quarantine of China. Any
MIIT specially required CNNIC and the service          company that has a Certificate of Business                  DOES NOT HAVE A
registrars to take the following measures:             License is eligible to apply for a Certificate of           BRANCH IN CHINA BUT
• Establishing a blacklist to include the holders      National Organization Code.                                 WANTS TO IMMEDIATELY
  of those domain names whose websites were                                                                        PREVENT THOSE TYPES
                                                       Because of the new requirements, individuals are
  shut down                                            no longer allowed to register .cn domain names and          OF DOMAIN NAMES
• Requiring all applicants for domain name             Chinese domain names as of December 14, 2009.
  registrations to provide authentic, accurate and                                                                 BEING TAKEN BY
  integral information about the registration          For .cn domain names or Chinese domain                      OTHERS, IT IS POSSIBLE
                                                       names registered prior to December 14, 2009, all
• Withholding DNS direction for those websites                                                                     TO AUTHORISE A
                                                       registrants, whether individuals or legal entities,
  not recorded at MIIT, and                                                                                        CHINESE LEGAL
                                                       are required to submit documentation to their
• Co-operating with the relevant authorities           service registrars, which will then be transferred to       SERVICES AGENCY
  to stop DNS direction for those websites             CNNIC for verification. As a legal entity, it must
  containing obscene or offensive content                                                                          TO REGISTER THEM.”
                                                       also submit a copy of its Certificate of Business
  identified by the relevant authorities, reporting    License or a copy of its Certificate of National
  them and including the holders of the domain         Organization Code and a copy of its contact person’s
  names on the blacklist.                              Chinese Resident Identity Card. CNNIC originally
                                                       determined a deadline of January 31, 2010 for
New requirements                                       submission, but later agreed to extend the period
As usual, an applicant must provide the domain         (the new deadline has yet to be announced).
name to be registered, the number of years
                                                       CNNIC does not distinguish Chinese individuals
of registration, the applicant’s name, address,                                                                with the foreign company’s wish for universal
                                                       or entities from foreign individuals or entities
telephone and fax numbers, an email address,                                                                   management of its domain names. However,
                                                       that cannot provide Chinese Resident Identity
a contact person’s name, and server (DNS)                                                                      this is the policy and we cannot foresee it
                                                       Cards or Certificates of National Organization
information.                                                                                                   changing in the future. Alternatively, if a foreign
                                                       Code or Certificates of Business License. In
                                                                                                               company does not have a branch in China
In light of MIIT’s policy, CNNIC announced new         practice, service registrars still accept copies of
                                                                                                               but wants to immediately prevent those types
requirements for registering .cn domain names          the identification cards or passports of foreign
                                                                                                               of domain names being taken by others, it is
and Chinese domain names as follows:                   individuals and/or copies of the Certificates of
                                                                                                               possible to authorise a Chinese legal services
                                                       Incorporation of foreign entities and transfer
• A copy of the Certificate of Business License                                                                agency to register them in the name of the
                                                       them to CNNIC. CNNIC is awaiting MIIT’s
  of Legal Entity for the applicant company or a                                                               Chinese agency and then have them assigned to
                                                       further confirmation on whether those foreign
  copy of the Certificate of National Organization                                                             a company branch in China as soon as a branch
                                                       documents are acceptable for verification
  Code of the applicant company, and                                                                           is established, or to the foreign company itself
                                                       purposes. Though MIIT has not issued a clear
• A copy of the Chinese Resident Identity Card of                                                              should the current policy change. Also, it is
                                                       opinion about this, it is commonly thought that
  the contact person of the applicant company.                                                                 feasible for the Chinese legal services agency to
                                                       they will be acceptable, because a decision to the
                                                                                                               arrange for the registered .cn domain names or
When the new requirements were implemented             contrary would be unfair.
                                                                                                               Chinese domain names to redirect to the foreign
on December 14, 2009, CNNIC also required              Under the new regulations, foreign companies            company’s website, commonly under a .com
a copy of the application form stamped by              are not allowed to register .cn domain names or         domain name.
the applicant company’s seal, but it no longer         Chinese domain names directly as of December
requires the form.                                                                                             For an assignment, based on mutual agreement,
                                                       14, 2009. Therefore, it is recommended that a
                                                                                                               of a .cn domain name or a Chinese domain name
The Certificate of Business License is proof of        foreign company entrust its branch, subsidiary
                                                                                                               registered after December 14, 2009, the assignee
a registered company’s legal right to operate its      or representative office in mainland China, all
                                                                                                               must provide its identification documents as
business in China. The certificate is issued by an     of which are eligible to obtain a Certificate of
                                                                                                               required for a new applicant, in addition to an
Administration for Industry and Commerce at            Business License or a Certificate of National
                                                                                                               application form of assignment duly executed by
county, provincial or national level after it checks   Organization Code, to register its .cn domain
                                                                                                               both the assignor and the assignee.
and approves the registration of the company           names or Chinese domain names. Because not
according to the relevant laws of China.               every foreign company has a branch in China,            For an assignment, based on mutual agreement,
                                                       if an eligible branch of a foreign company              of a .cn domain name or a Chinese domain
A National Organization Code (NOC) is a                registers .cn domain names or Chinese domain            name registered before December 14, 2009,
unique and invariable legal identifier issued          names, this will possibly be in contradiction           if the current registrant has gone through the

20      World Intellectual Property Review Annual 2010                                                              

verification process and its submission has been      The ‘first come, first served’ principle           eight domain names including,
accepted by CNNIC, the assignee must provide          is commonly applied in domain name        and Currently, we
its identification documents as required for a        registration. A service registrar shall register   do not plan to register more, though we know
new applicant, in addition to an application          domain names immediately according to an           the listed domain names are available. So we
form of assignment duly executed by both              applicant’s instruction and it has no obligation   definitely ignore the scam emails.
the assignor and the assignee. However, if the        to withhold one party’s applications and alert     Our firm periodically receives this type of email
current registrant has not submitted the required     another party. XYZ Company may not be an           from several different senders. And our clients also
documents for verification or its submission          accredited registrar, but perhaps an agent of      have received this type of email and have referred
has been rejected by CNNIC, it is still possible      a registrar behind the scenes. Fabricating an      to us for advice many times. We usually suggest:
to assign the domain name without the new             urgent situation in which the so-called Pone
                                                                                                         • Conducting a WHOIS search to identify the status
requirements applied.                                 Group Inc. is going to register the domain
                                                                                                           and registration details of the domain names
                                                      names is a strategy to lure us to register them
Concerning a forcible transfer, based on a decision                                                      • Registering those domain names that are still
                                                      through XYZ Company or the registrar behind
made by a domain name dispute resolution                                                                   available and of interest to you through a
                                                      it on an ‘urgent’ basis.
organisation, an arbitration organisation or                                                               trusted service registrar
                                                      As CNNIC has issued new requirements for           • Deciding whether to reacquire some domain
a Chinese court, the registrar shall change
                                                      registration of .cn domain names and Chinese         names by direct warning, anonymous acquisition
the owner in accordance with the decision.
                                                      domain names, such emails including those            through a third party, a dispute resolution process
However, after the change is made, CNNIC
                                                      types of domain names should be considered           or even a lawsuit if they have been registered by
might still require the new owner to supplement
                                                      even more untrustworthy.                             unaffiliated individuals or entities.
its identification documents for verification.
                                                      Nowadays, it has become an increasingly            It is better to consult a local agency for specialist
It has been reported that unwanted operations of                                                         advice according to the sender’s location.
                                                      complex challenge for a company to decide
.cn domain names have declined tremendously
                                                      where, when and how to register domain
since the policy was implemented.
                                                      names. Often, it is a consideration of balance
                                                      between the current or potential value of the
Scam emails                                           domain names in specific countries or regions
Perhaps you regularly receive emails similar to       and the necessary expense of registering and       Xiang Gao is a partner at Peksung Intellectual Property
the following one our firm recently received:         maintaining them. Our firm has registered          Ltd. He can be contacted at:

       Dear President,

       We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china. we have
       something need to confirm with you. we formally received an application on May 3,
       2010. one company which called "Pone Group Inc." are applying to register "Peksung"
       as Network Brand and the following Domain Names:                                                                                      Xiang     Gao graduated from Peking                                                                                      University, Beijing, China with a bachelor                                                                                          of law degree in 1991, and he also obtained
                                                                                                            a master of intellectual property and
       After our initial examination, we found that the Domain Names applied for registration
                                                                                                            diploma of advanced licensing institute from
       are as same as your company's name and trademark. these days we are dealing with it,
                                                                                                            Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, New
       hope to get the affirmation from your company. if your company has not authorized
                                                                                                            Hampshire, in the US in 1997. He registered
       the aforesaid company to register these, please contact us as soon as possible.
                                                                                                            to practise before the Chinese Trademark
       In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit is 7 workdays. if your company files no            Office in 1995. In 2004, Gao joined Peksung
       reply within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted               Intellectual Property Ltd. as a partner to
                                                                                                            handle trademark, copyright and domain
       by "Pone Group Inc.".
                                                                                                            name matters. He is a member of AIPPI
       Best Regards,                                                                                        China and INTA.
       XYZ Company

22      World Intellectual Property Review Annual 2010                                                          

To top