18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.renBeijing Qianxiang Wangjing Technology Development Co., Ltd.renren-inc.comView

Describe the mission⁄purpose of your proposed gTLD

The information gathered in response to Question 18 is intended to inform the postlaunch review of the New gTLD Program, from the perspective of assessing the relative costs and benefits achieved in the expanded gTLD space.
For the application to be considered complete, answers to this section must be fulsome and sufficiently quantitative and detailed to inform future study on plans vs. results.
The New gTLD Program will be reviewed, as specified in section 9.3 of the Affirmation of Commitments. This will include consideration of the extent to which the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of
(a) the application and evaluation process, and (b) safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion.
The information gathered in this section will be one source of input to help inform this review. This information is not used as part of the evaluation or scoring of the application, except to the extent that the information may overlap with questions or evaluation areas that are scored.
An applicant wishing to designate this application as community-based should ensure that these responses are consistent with its responses for question 20 below.
Renren Inc, listed on New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RENN, operates the leading real-name social networking internet platform in China, which includes the main social networking website renren.com, the online games center game.renren.com, the social commerce website nuomi.com and the professional and business social networking service website jingwei.com.
Currently, the platform enables users to connect and communicate with one another, share information and user generated content, play online games, listen to music, shop for deals and enjoy a wide range of other features and services.
As of the end of 2011, total assets of Renren Inc stood at USD 1.1 billion, with net revenues at USD 118 million on 77.8% gross profit margin. The platform had 147 million activated users.
Renren Inc’s vision is to aim to define social networking experience and to revolutionize the way that people in China connect, communicate, entertain and shop. To achieve this goal, Renren Inc is focused on providing a highly engaging and interactive platform that promotes connectivity, communication and sharing among its users. As such, Renren Inc, through its managed subsidiary, Beijing Qianxiang Wangjing Technology Development Co Ltd (“the Applicant”) is going to apply for the top level domain name “.ren”.
As indicated in the attachment, the Applicant is 100% fully owned subsidiary of Beijing Qianxiang Tiancheng Technology Development Co., Ltd (“Qianxiang Tiancheng”). Qianxiang Tiancheng in return has entered into a series of legal contractual agreements with Qianxiang Shiji Technology Development (Beijing) Co., Ltd, the wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) for Renren Inc in China. These agreements allow Renren Inc to exercise effective control over Qianxiang Tiancheng and its subsidiaries.
This structure is a typical variable interest entity (VIE) structure and is commonly used by majority of Chinese companies to list outside of China. Since the internet sector in China does not permit foreign investment, Chinese companies that list overseas will use a foreign incorporated company as the listed company. The choice is usually a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, in this case Renren Inc, due to its tax-free status and established legal system. Then in order for the publicly listed company to get access to the profits of the Chinese operations for the benefit of the shareholders, the publicly listed company will set up a WFOE in China, in this case, Qianxiang Shiji Technology Development (Beijing) Co., Ltd, and enter into a series of legal agreements with the VIE entity in China (Qianxiang Tiancheng).
The vision for “.ren” is to be a natural extension of the platform’s current offering to its users and potentially to rest of the 500 million internet population in China. “.ren” is simple and easy to remember. In Chinese, “ren” (人) means human being and is used commonly to refer to a person. The platform renren.com is basically composed of two of this character and promotes the vision of human being connecting with human being through the platform.
The Applicant currently is managing 2nd level top domain names such as renren.com, nuomi.com and jingwei.com which seems to be not inter-related to the users. Through “.ren” top level domain name, the Applicant will be able to consolidate and integrate all the various services and features under one unique and closely managed space with enhanced security and control. The consolidation and integration will greatly aid the Applicant to optimize its future online marketing and promotional efforts, and saving costs in brand awareness.
In addition, the Applicant wishes to first extend the “.ren” top level domain to the VIP users on its platform. A VIP user currently has to subscribe on a monthly basis to enjoy the privileges such as personalized third level domain names under “.com” and that by offering “.ren”, the Applicant believes that it is providing a better and more natural alternative to this service. Furthermore, the Applicant is also going to offer additional services as the user’s own individual homepage and email account on this top level domain name. Through this offering, the Applicant believes it will help to create better user experience and stickiness among its solid foundation of users.
The Applicant currently holds the trademark of “REN” (http:⁄⁄assignments.uspto.gov⁄assignments⁄q?db=tm&sno=85074624). The top level domain name “.ren” will serve as the online externalization of this trademark. For the first time since the invention of the Internet, a company will have full ownership of a top level domain “brand” name. Through “.ren”, the Applicant can help to promote healthy competition from the registrars by dictating the level of service and quality expected from a publicly traded company that operates the leading real-name social networking internet platform in China.
Furthermore, this will increase the level of trust from the users as problems like phishing, domain redirection and domain parking will be eliminated. Users know that they can depend on such gTLDs that are the brand personification of the actual entity.
The Applicant’s expectation for “.ren” for the first three years is that, it will initially reach about 152,000 in the 1st year, and grow to 202,400 and 251,280 in the 2nd and 3rd year respectively.
The projection is based on a conservative estimate taking the following into consideration:
the total number of domain names registered in China across all TLDs
the proportion of the total number of domain names registered in China that are in Chinese
ICANN new gTLD study (ICANN benchmarking of registry operations, Feb. 2010)
the pricing point for “.ren” and how the China market would react based on the team’s experience in China
the initial growth of existing gTLDs in China
The pricing for “.ren” is intentionally set at a slightly higher price point to other generic TLDs as the Applicant envisions “.ren” to be adopted for a certain group of the Chinese Internet community.
The Applicant will have Sunrise process prior to opening the general registration to ensure that the relevant rights owners have their first rights to their names. Landrush period will also introduced to cater for the ardent aspirant registrants. The Applicant will also adopt the Trademark Clearing House to reduce cybersquatting and other intellectual property rights infringements. Furthermore, the Applicant will have additional protection for geographic names. Details of these protections are described in the answer to Question 22, 28 and 29.

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