.微博

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Status: Proposed
Language: Chinese (Hans/Simplified)
Translates to: microblogging
Type: IDN gTLD
Category: Technology
Priority #: 45 - Sina Corporation
98 - Tencent Holdings Limited

.微博 is an IDN gTLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. 微博, or weibo, refers to microblogging. They have both also applied for .weibo.

.微博 是一个国际化通用顶级域名。该域名已被纳入ICANN的新通用顶级域名计划。【.微博】的两个申请人也都申请了该域名的英文版本.weibo.

Current Applicants

  1. Sina Corporation - Currently runs Weibo.com[1]
  2. Tencent Holdings Limited[2]-Tencent Weibo is a microblogging site with around 500 million users.[3]

现有申请人

  1. 新浪公司 – weibo.com 的现有运行者
  2. 腾讯控股有限公司 – 腾讯微博目前拥有5亿注册用户

Application Details

Sina Corporation

Excerpted from Sina Corporations response to question #18 in TLD application:

"SINA Corporation (NASDAQ ticker: SINA) is an online media company and Mobile Value Added Service (MVAS) provider in the Peopleʹs Republic of China and for the global Chinese communities. With a branded network of localized websites targeting Greater China and overseas Chinese, the Company provides services mainly through SINA.com (online news and content), Weibo.com (microblog) and SINA Mobile (MVAS). Through these businesses and properties and other business lines, SINA offers an array of services including region-focused online portals, MVAS, microblog, blog, video and music streaming, photo sharing, online games, email, search, classified listings, fee-based services, e-commerce and enterprise e-solutions. The Company generates the majority of its revenues from online advertising and MVAS offerings and, to a lesser extent, from fee-based services.

As of end of 2011, the aggregated number of daily unique visitors to SINA websites is around 70 millon people, with daily page views of exceeding 2 billion hits. SINA websites are able to reach in average of approximately 400 million Internet users per month. As of March 2012, www.sina.com.cn is one of the top 20 websites in the world, and one of the top 5 websites in China, according to Alexa.com .

Besides the above mentioned websites and channels, SINA’s Weibo.com (Weibo ⁄ 微博), a microblogging and social network platform launched in August 2009, has enabled its users to follow the hottest topics being discussed online as well as discussions related to people they know. As of end of 2011, Weibo has reached more than 300 Million registered users globally. More than 86 million Weibo entries are published every day. Weibo users consist of celebrities, commercial enterprises, government entities and grass root Internet users, who may send feeds in the form of text (up to 140 Chinese characters) and multimedia (photo, video and music) content to their opted-in followers. 96 out of Top 100 most popular government Weibo accounts are active through Weibo microblogging platform, according to E-Government Research Center, CAG (http:⁄⁄www.chinaegov.org⁄publicfiles⁄business⁄htmlfiles⁄ChinaEgovForum⁄wbpg⁄index.html). In addition, Weibo may be accessed through mobile Internet and mobile applications, such as those built for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Designed as a multi-device product, Weibo enables Chinese communities to participate in open discussions on PCs and mobile devices around the world, allowing easier and more frequent interactions, expediting the spread of information and elevating the social media and networking experience to a different level. As of April 2011, SINA started to use “Weibo.com” domain name and expect to invest 160 million during 2012 on infrastructure and market development for the Weibo businesses. According to Alexa.com, Weibo.com ranks as one of the Top 30 websites in the world and one of the Top 10 in China.

SINA Corporation, a Cayman Islands corporation, was founded in March 1999 through the merger of Beijing SINA Information Technology Co. Ltd. and California-based SINANET.com. In April 2000, the Company completed its initial public offering and was listed on the NASDAQ market. With more than 4,000 employees now, SINA is headquartered in Shanghai, China and the principle place of operations is located in Beijing, China. SINA has offices throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. Its latest corporation and financial information can be found at http:⁄⁄corp.sina.com.cn⁄eng⁄sina_index_eng.htm

Potential Business Models Initially, .微博 can be only registered (e.g. example.微博) by SINA itself, therefore SINA is the only eligible registrant. SINA plans to adopt this approach and expects to maintain it for 3 years from the launch of the “.微博” registry service. Such approach will be regularly evaluated and adjusted if appropriate and necessary. Depending a various internal and external factors, including market demand and user expectation, SINA may consider a phased roll-out approach for a broader commercial marketplace but will do so after the conclusion of the initial 3-year period. This defensive and conservative approach shall meet the purpose of trademark protection, minimize potential technological, marketing and operational risks, and allow ample time for SINA’s management to evaluate best possible and long-term strategy of utilizing .微博 TLD prominently.

SINA is also analyzing the definition of “eligible registrants” and the potential use case options on the type of domain name that is permitted for registration and by whom. To the best of SINA’s knowledge as a registry operator, the eligible registrants may include the following: -- a subsidiary or branch company -- an official or frequently-used name of the department or business unit -- a channel, service, product, event, or campaign -- a member of Board, Staff, affiliated person, partner or collaborator -- Other entity, sub-group, or personnel to be further defined"[4]

Tencent

Excerpts from applicant's response to gTLD application question #18:

"The .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by enabling internet users to better communicate with each other and the world, utilising its micro-blogging functionality. Domain names will be available to individuals, organisations in the private sector as well as public sector enterprises. Through the use of personalised domain names, internet users will be able to easily connect with individuals, organisations and businesses to access relevant information. As such, Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) intends to utilise the new gTLD to allow people to communicate easier through its micro-blogging platform, enable business enterprises and celebrities to build communication channels with customers and fans. The registration policy will ensure that domains of public influence or pertaining to serious matters are protected and are not transferred. The creation of the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD will allow for a more convenient and unified name structure, enabling the provision of better services to end users.

Tencent was established in November 1998 and has grown into one of China’s largest and most used internet service portals. Tencent provides value-added internet, mobile and telecommunication services and online advertising. Its leading internet platforms have brought together China’s largest internet community, for example it has 711.7 million users with accounts for Tencent’s instant messenger program, QQ. Such internet platforms are designed to meet the various needs of internet users including communication, information, entertainment, and e-commerce. Tencent was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004 and reached a market value of over HKD$100 billion in 2007.

Tencent Weibo is a micro-blogging site with about 310 million users, about 50 million of which are active daily users. Tencent Weibo allows anyone to freely share immediate news, through text and pictures with other internet users, including friends and family. Tencent Weibo also allows its users to find information and updates from influential public figures such as actors, sports people or public officials. Tencent has offered internet services since 1998 and weibo services since 2010, and as such has strong internet operations experience and a large user base which will benefit from the new .weibo gTLD. Building consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations for Tencent. The new .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD will promote and strengthen the Tencent Weibo services. These objectives will be further complemented by Tencent’s application for .weibo. Tencent is one of the pioneers of internet services, and in particular has a strong reputation for the provision of its Weibo services to its Chinese speaking users, in China, greater Asia and around the world. It is also engaging the English speaking world, as is reflected in its registration of .weibo and .微博 (IDN .weibo).

Tencent intends to use the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD to allow for more convenient and innovative communication between users of Tencent’s Weibo micro-blogging site. In order to avoid user confusion, Tencent intends to reserve names that are of public influence or considered serious in nature, such as the names of celebrities, politicians, geographic names, government structures and well-known companies (Public interest domain names). If such people or organisations wish to use the domain name, an appropriate verification process, in accordance with the registration policy, ensuring necessary identification will be undertaken. The verification process will ensure accuracy in the assignment of the .微博 (IDN .weibo) domain name. The verified names will be clearly labelled as such. This will ensure the user of the domain name accurately corresponds to the actual physical individual or entity the name represents. Use of such domains will be continually reviewed to ensure that they reflect the public interest considerations. All use of domain name in the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD will require Tencent’s authorization and approval through a licensing mechanism."[5]

申请细节

新浪公司

新浪微博weibo.com于2009年8月投入使用,其开放为用户提供了搜索跟进最新最热门网络话题及在自己“圈子内”联络讨论的平台。截至2011年底,新浪微博在全球范围内有超过3亿用户注册,每天有超过八千六百万条新微博在weibo.com发表。微博用户包括名人,商务公司,政府官方以及“草根”用户。根据电子政务研究中心的数据,100个最受关注的政府微博账号中有96个处在活跃状态。此外,微博用户还能通过手机网络及智能手机应用登陆微博账号。新浪公司从2011年4月起启用“Weibo.com”作为域名并预计在2012年投资超过1.6亿人民币用于微博的基础建设和市场发展。根据Alexa.com的数据,Weibo.com不仅是中国最受欢迎的10个网站之一,还是全球最受欢迎的30个网站之一。

新浪公司在开曼群岛注册,并于1999年3月由北京新浪信息技术有限公司与加州SINANET.com合并。2000年4月,新浪公司完成了其首次公开招募并在纳斯达克上市(NASDAQ)。新浪目前总部在上海,运行总部在北京且有超过4000名员工。其在中国大陆,香港,台湾及美国也都有分部。

潜在商业模式

在【.微博】成为顶级域名的初始阶段,新浪公司将是二级域名的唯一合格注册者。这一情况将保持3年,之后新浪公司将开放域名注册服务。在这3年中,新浪将不断对“是否应继续保留域名注册专属性”进行评估以判断其是否依然适合市场。这一相对保守的手段符合新浪商标保护的目的,尽量降低技术,市场及运营方面的风险,同时保障新浪有足够时间对长期运行策略进行评估及筛选。

与此同时,新浪在对何谓“合格注册者”,以及各种潜在域名形式和域名注册商进行分析。对于新浪公司这一域名注册运营者来说,合格注册者应为:新浪的子公司或下级机构;有官方或常用名的部门或单位;一个频道,服务,产品,活动或项目;董事会成员,员工,相关部门人员或合作者;或其他需要定义的法人,下级团体或个体。

腾讯公司

【.微博】(国际版本.weibo)这一通用顶级域名将通过发挥其“微型博客”的功能以及帮助互联网用户在虚拟世界更好地交流,来开辟新一代通用顶级域名服务。域名将分别对私营及公有企业中的个人及组织开放。域名注册条款将保证那些与公共利益或重大事件相关的域名获得保护。【.微博】的使用将带来更多方便使用并且统一的域名结构,并为网络终端用户提供更好的服务。

腾讯公司与1998年11月创立并已发展为中国最大且使用率最高的门户网站之一。腾讯拥有中国最大的网络社区,其下的即时通讯应用,QQ,有超过7.117亿的注册用户。腾讯旗下的网络平台为互联网用户提供了通讯交流,信息搜索,娱乐及电子商务的服务。腾讯公司与2004年在香港股票交易所上市并于2007年达到1000亿港币市值

腾讯微博拥有约3.1亿注册用户,其中5000万为每日活跃用户。腾讯将建立用户信任及不断创新视为两大目标。而这些目标将随着腾讯对.weibo的建设而进一步完善。腾讯属于中国互联网服务先锋者之一,且在中国,亚洲乃至世界范围内的中文使用者中有很好的声誉。腾讯也正尝试与英语世界有更强的互动,他们申请了【.微博】的英文版本.weibo.

为了避免给用户造成理解偏差,腾讯有意对公共影响较大或严肃性较强的域名进行储备,包括名人,政客,地理名称,政府架构及知名公司等。有意使用这些域名的相关人员或组织将按照域名注册条例,通过一项认证程序,并进行身份认证。这一手段将保证域名用户与实际个体或法人的名字/身份一致。即使在注册人通过认证后,腾讯将不断对这些域名的使用进行审阅,以确保其良好地反应了公众利益。所有在【.微博】这一顶级域名下注册的域名将必须在腾讯的许可机制下获得域名使用授权。

References