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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.微博Tencent Holdings Limitedtencent.comView


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.

Tencent’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. Tencent is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:

- consumer trust: the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with registration of public interest names undergoing a thorough verification process to ensure the authenticity of the name. As .微博 (IDN .weibo) domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Tencent’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .微博 (IDN .weibo) domain space;

- competition: the proposed new gTLD is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest and competition through its operation focussed on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .微博 (IDN .weibo) 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 Tencent’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting online. As Tencent has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under the.微博 (IDN .weibo) domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.

Given the existing customer base of Tencent’s Weibo services, the projected number of registrations under the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD is likely to be up to 50,000 in the first year. It is anticipated that this may rise to 250,000 by the third year. The projected registration numbers are supported by the financial, technical and operational capacity of Tencent to act as a registry operator for this gTLD. In this endeavour, Tencent will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. Tencent will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.

The types of domain names currently foreseen would include product, services or geographic names, as well as names for individuals and businesses. In accordance with the registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, Tencent will use geographic names to localise its websites within China. The use of geographic names is intended to:

- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and

- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.

Tencent will also utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level, initially limited to Chinese. The use of IDNs will allow internet users to engage with .微博 (IDN .weibo) in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity. As the use of the .微博 (IDN .weibo) gTLD evolves, it is anticipated that the use of IDNs, including additional languages, will increase within the .微博 (IDN .weibo) domain space.

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