No. 21 Financial Street
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .UNICOM gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY. The new .unicom gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which China... Read more
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .UNICOM gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY.
The new .unicom gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd (China Unicom) can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand identity and authenticity. The .unicom gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for China Unicom and its affiliates that are associated with the brand to provide personalised information, services and resources to its users in a unique way that promotes trust, convenience and security. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for advertising and marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
China Unicom was established in 2009 as a result of a merger between China Netcom Group Corporation (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, which was first incorporated in 2000. With a modern communications network characterised by nationwide coverage and global reach, China Unicom operates communications services, including mobile, fixed, data, network access, satellite International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) system integration and value-added telecommunication services to its individual, family and enterprise customers.
China Unicom is the only Chinese telecommunications operator listed on the stock exchanges of New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai. China Unicom was in Financial Times' Top 500 in 2011 in terms of its revenue, and ranked at the top of the world leading telecom operators in terms of its customer base and market capitalisation. By 2011, the total assets of China Unicom reached RMB447 billion. The company has 199 million mobile subscribers and 93 million fixed line users as the third largest mobile services provider in the world. China Unicom has subsidiaries operating in 31 provinces in China and in other parts of the world with over 450,000 employees.
China Unicom is a leader in innovating its information service and is determined to focus on its users by constantly improving its overall brand strength and competitiveness. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations for China Unicom. These objectives will be complemented by China Unicom's gTLD application for the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) "unicom" in Chinese language.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. The .unicom gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with China Unicom online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
China Unicom's mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. China Unicom is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .unicom gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to China Unicom and its affiliates, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that the .unicom domain names are trustworthy. As the .unicom domain names are subject to registration standards, policies, procedures and regulation management under China Unicom's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .unicom domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .unicom gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting China Unicom's marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with China Unicom on a more professional and personalised level. As China Unicom will have effective control over the registration and regulation management of domain names under the .unicom domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .unicom gTLD, it is anticipated that between 800 and 2400 domain names will be registered in the first few years. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 5000 domain names as China Unicom develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns for the .unicom gTLD.
As the new .unicom gTLD expands and evolves, China Unicom may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its customers at a later date for convenience and personalised marketing purposes.
Whilst this application is being submitted to ICANN on the basis of it being for use by China Unicom and its affiliates only, the Applicant would like to signal formally to ICANN its intention to review this model in future and potentially change the eligibility criteria for a domain name to allow registrations by third parties.
Any change is likely to occur well down the track in terms of timing and maybe some years away.
Should China Unicom proceed with its plan to extend the mission and purpose of .unicom, it will make a further application to ICANN for permission and would be happy to provide its changed plans in detail at that time.
In this endeavour, China Unicom will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. China Unicom will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .unicom gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
China Unicom intends to create relevant domain names for use including product, services, geographic names or Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in the second or third level domain names to create a more positive user experience and convenience within .unicom.
China Unicom is a well-recognised brand in China and other parts of the world with its "China Unicom" trademark registered in 14 countries and territories, including Japan, US, Hong Kong and India, in Class 38 Telecommunications.
China Unicom has 3 existing domain names containing the applied-for .unicom in .com, .com.cn and .cn.
China Unicom believes that the .unicom gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. China Unicom trademarks are a leading global brand used in conjunction with its telecommunications services for over 10 years with significant reputation as the third largest mobile services provider in the world with over 260 million customers. ×