China’s April batch of approved TLDs has been released, featuring three domains from Neustar and Uniregistry.
Neustar had its longstanding, 2000-round .biz pass regulatory scrutiny, while Uniregistry’s .link and .auto have also been approved.
While .auto is managed by Cars Registry, a joint venture with XYZ.com, its stablemates .car and .cars do not appear to have yet been approved.
The rubberstamping was made by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which administers the country’s stringent regulatory framework.
Clearance means that customers of Chinese registrars will actually be able to deploy and use the names they buy.
The registries have also agreed to strict takedown policies for Chinese registrants.
While MIIT appears to be announcing newly approved TLDs on a monthly basis, it’s a slow drip-feed. I believe there are still fewer than 20 Latin-script gTLDs currently cleared for use in China.
There was a small turn-out for the premium launch of .cars, .car and .auto gTLDs, but the registry says it cleared over $1 million in revenue.
The three gTLDs are run by Cars Registry, a venture between Uniregistry and XYZ.com.
They all finished their pricey Early Access Periods yesterday and are due to enter general availability today.
The EAP started January 12 with prices of $45,000 per domain. In GA, they won’t cost you less than $2,000.
While zone files show almost no new domains appearing between January 12 and today — three or four per domain at most — Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling said EAP was a “success”.
“More than 100 dealers and brands took advantage of sunrise and EAP,” he said.
It appears there are a few dozen domains not appearing in zone files yet.
The three gTLDs combined have brought in over $1 million during EAP, Schilling said.
Cars Registry has set pricing for .car, .cars and .auto domains at crazy-high levels.
If you want to buy a domain in any of the three gTLDs on day one, it will cost you a whopping $45,000.
If you buy one during regular general availability, it’s likely to set you back $2,500.
The registry, a partnership of Uniregistry and XYZ.com, has set its registry fee at $2,000, according to an email sent to registrars this week.
That’s a buck higher than .sucks, one of the most expensive new gTLDs to launch to date.
The sunrise fee will be $3,000 — made up of the regular $2,000 fee plus an added $1,000. Again, that’s higher than .sucks.
The Early Access Period — which, as reported yesterday, has replaced the more usual landrush — will run for nine days with prices ranging from $45,000 to $5,000.
Compared to the usual models of XYZ.com and Uniregistry, which tend towards the mass-market, these prices are colossal.
I wonder how much the pricing was influenced by the fact that the registry has the car-related gTLD market almost entirely sewn up.
Its only potential competitor is .autos, which has been delegated for almost 18 months but has yet to even reveal its launch plans and probably isn’t going to be available to the mass market anyway.
Sunrise for all three gTLDS is due to start December 9, ending January 12. EAP will begin that day, and GA will start January 20.
XYZ.com and Uniregistry have launched a joint venture to operate a trio of car-related new gTLDs, after acquiring .car from Google.
Cars Registry Ltd is a new company. It will launch .cars, .car and .auto later this year.
Uniregistry won .cars and .auto at auction last year. Google was the only applicant for .car.
It signed its ICANN contract in January but transferred it to Cars Registry a little under a month ago.
The newly formed venture plans to launch all three TLDs simultaneously in the fourth quarter this year.
.car is currently in pre-delegation testing. The other two are already in the root.
Cars Registry does not have the the car-related domain space completely sewn up, however.
Dominion Enterprises runs .autos, albeit with a plan to launch the TLD with restrictions that may well mean it does not directly compete with the other three TLDs.
Launch details for .cars, .car and .auto have not yet been released.
Judging by the gTLDs’ web site, they will run on the Uniregistry back-end.
Uniregistry has won the .cars new gTLD at auction.
Donuts withdrew its competing application for the string this week. Third candidate DERCars’ application is still showing as active on ICANN’s web site.
However, Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling confirmed to DI that his company has won the contention set.
The automobile-related gTLD space is quite congested and, one might argue, confusing.
Uniregistry’s .cars will compete with Google, which has an uncontested application for the singular .car, and DERCars which stood uncontested for the now-delegated .autos.
Uniregistry previously won the four-way fight for .auto at auction but has yet to contract with ICANN.