Kapil Dev to reach out to his fans through www.KapilDev.asia
Shibani Kashyap to make previews of her songs and videos available on www.ShibaniKashyap.asia


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New Delhi, February 11, 2008: In the backdrop of ICANN’s (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) 31st International Public Meeting in New Delhi in association with Department of IT and National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), the DotAsia Organisation announced signups from India for its groundbreaking Celebrity Pioneer Program. DotAsia is a not-for-profit organization formed by national top-level-domain registries around Asia (including .IN in India, .CN, .JP, .KR, .NZ, .SG, etc.), designated to operate the global “.Asia” Internet domain for the Asia region. The Celebrity Pioneer Program offers Indian celebrities the priority to register their domain name with .Asia before the registrations are opened for public later this month on February 20, 2008. Early adopters of the Program in India include Indian cricket hero legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, pop diva Shibani Kashyap, TV star Rakshanda Khan, ‘Indian Idol’ fame Rahul Vaidya, Anoushka – pop artist & a VJ at ‘Channel V’ amidst many others.

According to Edmon Chung, CEO, DotAsia Organisation Limited, “There are more than 450 million online customers in Asia, and the .ASIA domain name is a gateway to reach this largest Internet market in the world. While .COM ignited the ecommerce boom in the US, .EU was created for Europe. .Asia is the first global top-level-domain that is headquartered in Asia and will be the platform for growth of the region. The Pioneer Domains Program focuses on building positive usage of the .Asia domain which in turn drives adoption and development for the Internet community across Asia.”

Indian stars Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Kajol, Ajay Devgun, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone and Kapil Dev have one thing in common. None of them own their domain names. Sushmita Sen is all set to legally sue a Canada-based man for having squatted on her domain name www.sushmitasen.com. Shah Rukh Khan had to pay through his nose to buy back www.shahrukhkhan.com. Most Bollywood filmstars are unaware that their cyber identity has been hijacked or that sites in their names can be potentially misused for abusive purposes.

Cricket veteran Kapil Dev said, “Yes, I lost out on securing KapilDev.com and KapilDev.in for myself. However, KapilDev.asia will be my home on the Internet. It is indeed a pleasure to join hands with DotAsia for it is doing commendable work through its Celebrity Pioneers Program. It’s time for all stars – especially athletes and cricket stars – to take their online presence seriously. With .Asia website in their name, they have a perfect platform to connect with their fans and audience.”

Pop singer Shibani Kashyap added, “I own ShibaniKashyap.com but I still opted to register ShibaniKashyap.asia and Shibani.asia to secure my cyber identity and to reach out to my fans in Asia with a domain that conveys even better relevance to the region. I intend on making previews of my songs and videos available on my shibani.asia website. I really think that artists should be proactive and book their .Asia domain name before anyone else grabs it. Why pay a fortune to buy back afterwards?”

DotAsia is committed to the orderly and stable launch of the .Asia domain into the technical and social fabric of the Internet. In contrast to the mad rush to domain names which had left brand owners around the world frustrated in past launches of new top-level domains, a comprehensive “Sunrise” (priority period for Trademark owners and businesses) process was implemented for the .Asia registry. Besides providing a phased approach to protect the rights of intellectual property rights holders, an important feature of the .Asia startup process is the leaving behind of the conventional chaotic lottery-like pure first-come-first-served process, and the adoption of an auction mechanism to resolve contesting interests. During the Sunrise and Landrush phases, all applications received within the corresponding period are considered to be received at the same time. Where there is only one qualified application, it is awarded to the applicant. If there are more than one qualified application, an auction is being held between the applicants. This provides a calm, fair and logical process for everyone interested in the domain.

To date, the results have proven to be greatly successful. Over 130 countries around the world had participated in the .Asia Sunrise, submitting over 30,000 applications to date. “The results from the .Asia Sunrise are very encouraging. We are accomplishing what we had set out to do: to ensure the stable and orderly introduction of the .Asia extension into the social and technical fabric of the Internet by avoiding the chaos which had often characterized new domain launches in the past. At over 90% success rate for Sunrise applications, compared to around 50%, and zero disputes received to date compared to thousands of challenges in previous domain registry launches, we believe .Asia has set a new benchmark for the future launches of top-level domain registries,” said Chung.

Furthermore, .Asia Sunrise auction results continue to demonstrate strong interest for the .Asia domain. High winning bids have exceeded US$20,000, while the average winning bid for contested auctions have grown to US$2,000. According to statistics from data obtained by DNJournal, average domain sales in the secondary market is above US$8,500 overall, with a median of US$2,900, whereas the median for new TLDs (i.e. .info / .biz / .mobi etc.) is at US$1,500, with an average of around US$4,000. The solid initial demand demonstrated by the early results, coupled with a robust secondary market represents growth and investment value for .Asia domains.

This is for the very first time that that an auction system has been used to resolve contention of domain name applications during the startup of a global top level domain registry. Besides it being a fairer and more orderly approach, an important aspect of the auction process is that registrants who bid higher for a domain are more likely to have definitive plans for the domain in order to recoup their investment which effectively means that .Asia will become a content rich community and represent a destination of choice for Asia- Pacific consumers. DotAsia Organisation believes that the .Asia domain will help fuel the growth of the Internet in the region by creating a new cyberspace infrastructure that offers breeding ground for online businesses.

About DotAsia Organisation

The DotAsia Organisation is the Sponsoring Organisation and Registry Operator for the .ASIA Sponsored Generic Top Level Domain. DotAsia is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation incorporated in Hong Kong. Asia has developed into a global force in the international commercial, political and cultural network. The .ASIA domain aspires to embrace this dynamism in the Asia Century to become a nucleus, intersection and breeding ground for Internet activity and development in the region.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Pavan Budhrani at +852.3741.0015 (pavan@registry.asia)
Sundeep Mehta at +91 9868779770 (sundeep@teamorange.in)

What’s in a domain name?

The value of domain names has steadily risen to staggering new heights in the last few years.

  • At the height of the Internet bubble, Korea.com sold for US$5M while tom.com fetched US$2.5M.
  • Since then, CreditCards.com took in US$2.75 million in 2004; Vodka.com sold for US$3 million, while Diamonds.com went for US$7.5 million in 2006.
  • In 2007, Porn.com was sold for US$9.5M, and the highest-price domain reported to date, Poker.com took in a reported US$27M.
  • The action is not restricted to “.com” domains either. Poker.de reportedly auctioned for close to US$1M earlier in 2007.
  • If the sceptic in you is still not convinced of the value of domains, a look back at history may offer some insight. Only eight years ago, during the Internet bubble in 1999, two far-sighted entrepreneurs spent US$7.5 million dollars for a domain, “Business.com”. It was eventually sold for US$345 million in cash, plus additional deferred payments in July 2007.

Why .Asia?

.Asia for the Asia Century
.Asia will be the breeding ground for Internet and business communications across Asia. .COM fuelled the explosion of e-commerce in the US; .EU launched to over 2.5M registrations within its first year. Asia already has by far the largest online population, and is today the global force in the international commercial, political and cultural network. Are you ready for the Asia Century?

The World Actively Looks for Asia
Internet users are actively looking for information about Asia. Overture statistics report that “Asia” (or “Asian”) is searched over 20 times more than “EU” and almost 5 times more than “Europe”. As a highly relevant type-in keyword, a .Asia domain improves your visibility on the Internet. Your customers are seeking services and information in or about Asia. Will they find you there?

Natural Word, Natural Brand
Asia is a natural word used in everyday language. Even US companies readily adopt “Asia” in their brands. Records from USPTO show more marks incorporating “Asia” than “Europe”; Amazon returned twice as many magazines when searching “Asia” vs “Europe”. Global brands such as Yahoo.Asia, SonyEricsson.Asia, Time.Asia already registered their .Asia domain. What are you waiting for?

A Gateway and Commitment to All of Asia
.Asia is a gateway to Asia, and a presence that shows commitment to the whole Asia market. Even if you already have dedicated sites for China, Japan or India, etc. .Asia provides value for the rest of Asia. When your customers expand to Asia, you want to let them know your commitment to Asia as well. A .Asia domain provides that simple and effective signal. Have you got a name for all of Asia?

From Asia / For Asia
.Asia provides value for companies from Asia as well as ones providing services for Asia. When people around the world seek information in Asia, be it trade with China or leisure trips to Malaysia, they search for “Asia”. For companies from Asia, .Asia increases your online visibility globally. For US or European companies, .Asia is your channel to the Asia market. Do you want to be part of the action in Asia?