|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.alipay||Alibaba Group Holding Limited||hichina.com||View|
The intention of the Applicant, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Alibaba” or “Applicant”), in filing this .Alipay application is to proactively protect the ownership of its “Alipay” trademark at the Internet Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) name space, and to provide a trusted, hierarchical and intuitive namespace for businesses and consumers that use Applicant’s broad range of online e-commerce, trade, and payment services.
In addition to this ASCII application for the .Alipay string, the applicant will also be filling three other gTLD strings, namely “.Alibaba”, “.Taobao”, and “.Tmall”. These four applied-for strings consist of core business competency of Applicant and represent the ultimate and reputable brand value in the Internet marketplace. All four applications submitted by Applicant are considered to be critically important to Applicant’s existing and future businesses.
Applicant and the “Alipay” brand
The brand “Alibaba” is transliterated from the Chinese brand: “阿里巴巴” which was founded in Hangzhou, China, by the Applicant in about 1999. Applicant is a privately held holding company registered in Cayman Islands and established in 1999 by Mr. Jack MA (as known as MA Yun in Chinese), a pioneer who has aspired to help make the Internet accessible, trustworthy and beneficial for all Chinese as well as for everyone in the world. As of today, Alibaba, through the operation by its subsidiaries and affiliates (together referred to as “Alibaba Group”), reach Internet users in more than 240 countries and regions, and have more than 25,000 employees in some 70 cities in Greater China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Alibaba Group has promoted it various “Alibaba” trademark, namely: “Alibaba Group”, “Alibaba.com”, “Alibaba.com Global Trade Starts Here”, “Alibaba Cloud Computing” extensively in relation to its businesses.
The following businesses are wholly owned or affiliated with Alibaba Group:
Alibaba.com Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Alibaba.com”) (HKSE: 1688.HK; www.alibaba.com, www.1688.com and www.aliexpress.com) – a publicly listed company at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in relation to e-commerce businesses
Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) - consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online shopping platform. Applicant is also applying for a .taobao gTLD for brand protection purpose.
Tmall (www.tmall.com) - business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail marketplace for branded products. Applicant is also applying for a .tmall gTLD for brand protection purpose.
eTao (www.etao.com) – a search engine designed for online shoppers
Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com) - the most comprehensive group shopping platform in China
Alibaba Cloud Computing (www.aliyun.com) - advanced data-centric cloud computing services platform
China Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com.cn) - one of China’s leading internet portals
Alipay (www.alipay.com) - third-party online payment platform. Applicant is also applying for a .alipay gTLD for brand protection purpose.
Among the companies listed above, Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688.HK) is the flagship company of Alibaba Group and is the global leader in e-commerce businesses. Through the operation by its affiliates, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online through three marketplaces: a global trade platform (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters; a Chinese platform (www.1688.com) for domestic trade in China; and a transaction-based wholesale platform (www.aliexpress.com) geared for smaller buyers seeking fast shipment of small quantities of goods. Together, these marketplaces form a community of more than 76 million registered users in more than 240 countries and regions as at 31 December 2011.
As part of its strategy to transition into a holistic platform where small companies can build and manage their online businesses easily, Alibaba.com also offers Chinese traders a wide array of business management software and Internet infrastructure services through its subsidiaries and affiliates, including but not limited to, HiChina ZhiCheng Technology Ltd., an ICANN accredited domain name registrar. Alibaba.com also owns Vendio Services, Inc. and Auctiva Corporation, the leading service providers of third-party e-commerce solutions for online merchants in the United States.
The “Alipay” brand was founded in about October 2003 as an online payment service provider for shoppers at the www.taobao.com marketplace.
Launched in 2004, Alipay platform (www.alipay.com) is Chinaʹs leading third-party online payment solution with nearly half of the share of the country’s third-party online payment market according to Q4 2011 and FY2011 Core Data on China’s Third-Party Online Payment Market: iResearch Consulting Group. It had more than 650 million registered accounts as of December 2011. On November 11, 2011, Alipay set a record for the highest daily number of transactions, facilitating 33.69 million transactions during the 24-hour period. Alipay platform is currently operated by Alipay.com Co., Ltd. (“Alipay”) which is an affiliate and independently-run company of Alibaba Group.
As the preferred online payment tool of Internet merchants in China, Alipay provides an escrow payment service that reduces transaction risk for online consumers. Alipay was a key catalyst in the growth of the online retail market in China from RMB1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2003 to RMB248 billion in GMV in 2009 according to iResearch China Internet Market Annual Review Report 2009: iResearch Consulting Group.
With the rapid development in term of the popularity of online shopping and e-commerce in China, and strong demand of trustworthy, user-friendly, and reliable online payment method for the Chinese Internet users, Alipay has become the most preferred and popular online payment method in China with more than 500,000 external merchants ranging from and not limited by, online retail, virtual gaming, digital communications, commercial services, utilities payment, etc. Alipay partners with more than 100 Chinese banks and financial institutions, including 19 leading national banks, as well as other leading International payment service provider such as Visa and MasterCard. Alipay currently supports transaction in 12 major foreign currencies.
In May 2011, Alipay obtained a license to operate in China from the People’s Bank of China following the restructuring of Alipay. Alipay was the first third-party payments platform to have granted with such a license, and such license has enabled Alipay to continue serving Taobao and its other customers in China.
Alibaba has secured trademark rights for the mark “Alipay” internationally in about 72 countries.
Potential Business Models
Applicant is still analyzing potential use options on the type of .Alipay domain names that will be permitted to be registered and by whom. The current approach is to initially allow only a limited number of Corporate Internal Users (CIU) to apply ⁄ register limited number of second level .Alipay domain names. Besides Alibaba Group, a CIU may be a representative of an entity (registrant) and the entity is wholly-owned or affiliated with Alipay. This conservative approach shall meet the trademark protection purpose, and minimize potential technological, marketing and operational risks. Such restricted approach will be reviewed at the regular basis and subject to change depending upon a range of external factors. A consultative process with ICANN and relevant stakeholder shall take place prior to determination of any change of this approach. Most likely, Applicant will not make any such determination until after the first three years of operation.
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.site||Corn Mill, LLC||donuts.co||View|
Q18A CHAR: 7985
Donuts Inc. is the parent applicant for this and multiple other TLDs. The company intends to increase competition and consumer choice at the top level. It will operate these carefully selected TLDs safely and securely in a shared resources business model. To achieve its objectives, Donuts has recruited seasoned executive management with proven track records of excellence in the industry. In addition to this business and operational experience, the Donuts team also has contributed broadly to industry policymaking and regulation, successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies from the ground up, and brought innovation, value and choice to the domain name marketplace.
DONUTS’ PLACE WITHIN ICANN’S MISSION
ICANN and the new TLD program share the following purposes:
1. to make sure that the Internet remains as safe, stable and secure as possible, while
2. helping to ensure there is a vibrant competitive marketplace to efficiently bring the benefits of the namespace to registrants and users alike.
ICANN harnesses the power of private enterprise to bring forth these public benefits. While pursuing its interests, Donuts helps ICANN accomplish its objectives by:
1. Significantly widening competition and choice in Internet identities with hundreds of new top-level domain choices;
2. Providing innovative, robust, and easy-to-use new services, names and tools for users, registrants, registrars, and registries while at the same time safeguarding the rights of others;
3. Designing, launching, and securely operating carefully selected TLDs in multiple languages and character sets; and
4. Providing a financially robust corporate umbrella under which its new TLDs will be protected and can thrive.
ABOUT DONUTS’ RESOURCES
Donuts’ financial resources are extensive. The company has raised more than US$100 million from a number of capital sources including multiple multi-billion dollar venture capital and private equity funds, a top-tier bank, and other well-capitalized investors. Should circumstances warrant, Donuts is prepared to raise additional funding from current or new investors. Donuts also has in place pre-funded, Continued Operations Instruments to protect future registrants. These resource commitments mean Donuts has the capability and intent to launch, expand and operate its TLDs in a secure manner, and to properly protect Internet users and rights-holders from potential abuse.
Donuts firmly believes a capable and skilled organization will operate multiple TLDs and benefit Internet users by:
1. Providing the operational and financial stability necessary for TLDs of all sizes, but particularly for those with smaller volume (which are more likely to succeed within a shared resources and shared services model);
2. Competing more powerfully against incumbent gTLDs; and
3. More thoroughly and uniformly executing consumer and rights holder protections.
This TLD is attractive and useful to end-users as it better facilitates search, self-expression, information sharing and the provision of legitimate goods and services. Along with the other TLDs in the Donuts family, this TLD will provide Internet users with opportunities for online identities and expression that do not currently exist. In doing so, the TLD will introduce significant consumer choice and competition to the Internet namespace – the very purpose of ICANN’s new TLD program.
This TLD is a generic term and its second level names will be attractive to a variety of Internet users. Making this TLD available to a broad audience of registrants is consistent with the competition goals of the New TLD expansion program, and consistent with ICANN’s objective of maximizing Internet participation. Donuts believes in an open Internet and, accordingly, we will encourage inclusiveness in the registration policies for this TLD. In order to avoid harm to legitimate registrants, Donuts will not artificially deny access, on the basis of identity alone (without legal cause), to a TLD that represents a generic form of activity and expression.
DONUTS’ APPROACH TO PROTECTIONS
No entity, or group of entities, has exclusive rights to own or register second level names in this TLD. There are superior ways to minimize the potential abuse of second level names, and in this application Donuts will describe and commit to an extensive array of protections against abuse, including protections against the abuse of trademark rights.
We recognize some applicants seek to address harms by constraining access to the registration of second level names. However, we believe attempts to limit abuse by limiting registrant eligibility is unnecessarily restrictive and harms users by denying access to many legitimate registrants. Restrictions on second level domain eligibility would prevent law-abiding individuals and organizations from participating in a space to which they are legitimately connected, and would inhibit the sort of positive innovation we intend to see in this TLD. As detailed throughout this application, we have struck the correct balance between consumer and business safety, and open access to second level names.
By applying our array of protection mechanisms, Donuts will make this TLD a place for Internet users that is far safer than existing TLDs. Donuts will strive to operate this TLD with fewer incidences of fraud and abuse than occur in incumbent TLDs. In addition, Donuts commits to work toward a downward trend in such incidents.
Donuts has consulted with and evaluated the ideas of international law enforcement, consumer privacy advocacy organizations, intellectual property interests and other Internet industry groups to create a set of protections that far exceed those in existing TLDs, and bring to the Internet namespace nearly two dozen new rights and protection mechanisms to raise user safety and protection to a new level.
These include eight, innovative and forceful mechanisms and resources that far exceed the already powerful protections in the applicant guidebook. These are:
1. Periodic audit of WhoIs data for accuracy;
2. Remediation of inaccurate Whois data, including takedown, if warranted;
3. A new Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) product for trademark protection;
4. A new Claims Plus product for trademark protection;
6. Limitations on domain proxy and privacy service;
7. Published policies and procedures that define abusive activity; and
8. Proper resourcing for all of the functions above.
They also include fourteen new measures that were developed specifically by ICANN for the new TLD process. These are:
1. Controls to ensure proper access to domain management functions;
2. 24⁄7⁄365 abuse point of contact at registry;
3. Procedures for handling complaints of illegal or abusive activity, including remediation and takedown processes;
4. Thick WhoIs;
5. Use of the Trademark Clearinghouse;
6. A Sunrise process;
7. A Trademark Claims process;
8. Adherence to the Uniform Rapid Suspension system;
9. Adherence to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy;
10. Adherence to the Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Policy;
11. Detailed security policies and procedures;
12. Strong security controls for access, threat analysis and audit;
13. Implementation DNSSEC; and
14. Measures for the prevention of orphan glue records.
DONUTS’ INTENTION FOR THIS TLD
As a senior government authority has recently said, “a successful applicant is entrusted with operating a critical piece of global Internet infrastructure.” Donuts’ plan and intent is for this TLD to serve the international community by bringing new users online through opportunities for economic growth, increased productivity, the exchange of ideas and information and greater self-expression.