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.asia
.asia
Introduced 2006
TLD type Sponsored top-level domain
Status Active
Registry Afilias
Sponsor DotAsia Organisation
Intended use As a regional domain for Asia and the Pacific
Registration restrictions Requires one contact in the Asia/Australia/Pacific region
Structure Registrations are taken directly at second level
Documents Proposal to ICANN
Dispute policies UDRP; Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Policy; also local dispute policies for Asian countries based on their local ccTLD policy
Website DotAsia.org

.asia is a sponsored top-level domain sponsored by the DotAsia Organization, with the back-end registry operated by Afilias. It was approved by ICANN on 19 October 2006 as a sponsored TLD. It will serve as a regional domain for companies, organisations, and individuals based in the region of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific.

Contents

Roll-out/Response

The .asia domain opened to registrations, first-come, first-served, on 26 March 2008.

The sunrise period for .asia began on 9 October 2007, and ended on 31 January 2008.

From 20 February 2008 to 12 March 2008, .asia was in the land rush state. Anyone meeting the .asia registration requirements could apply for any available .asia domain name. Each domain name for which there was more than one request will be auctioned among the applicants after the initial registration period closes. The auction process is considered innovative for a TLD launch[1], however, it may be biased against individuals and non-profit driven entities, as they typically lack the scale of funds available to commercial enterprises.

During the land rush state 473,633 domain registration applications were received, bringing the total number of applications to 505,838[2]. (Note that these are applications for registration rather than actual registrations, so many may be contested by auction or be disqualified.)

The first commercial Web site to launch under the .Asia domain was Admart.Asia, founded by Wayan Chan, of the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China on 26 March 2008.

Controversy

Eligibility

Although intended to confine eligibility to genuine denizens of the extended Asia-Pacific region, in practice, many entities outside the area have been able to register .asia domains without qualm by selecting an agent (typically provided by a registrar). It is yet to be seen if this will disqualify auction contenders or lead to legal challenges, as it may contravene the .asia charter[3]:

- To sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-Asia and Asia Pacific Internet community.

Conflict of interest

Allegations of insider trading and conflict of interest have been levelled at the CEO of Pool.com, a Canadian company with exclusive rights to auction .ASIA domains prior to initial allocation. The CEO, Richard Schreier, is accused of securing with unfair advantage several premium .ASIA domain names via a number of corporations he apparently has links with.[4]

Mr Schreier specifies that he does "not have any ownership interest" in the corporations involved.[5] As of 15 May 2008, it is unclear whether Mr Schreier has control over the domains in question, nor whether this would breach the DotAsia contract or any laws for countries that the TLD applies to.

The 'DotAsia.com Plot' website that makes the allegations, claims to have received correspondence from CEO of DotAsia, Mr Chung, stating that "Being a party related to a bidding party, in my understanding, does not automatically create any issue." If there is such an affiliation, it would almost certainly be illegal under Australian competition law (where one of the companies involved, Throne Ventures Pty Ltd, is registered.)[6]

Some of the domains in question: porn.asia; dating.asia; insurance.asia; lotto.asia; stocks.asia; auction.asia; beer.asia; fitness.asia; girls.asia; wine.asia

However, all of these domains according to the .ASIA whois service, were awarded during the Sunrise period which means their applications were made with a claim of prior right (registered trademark identical to the domain name). These claims would have been validated by the .ASIA validation partner (there were two, including Deloitte Touche) and where multiple applications were received, the domains would go to auction. The actual auction schedule shows these domains did not go to auction from which it can be concluded there was only a single verified application for the domains in question.

References

External links








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