Following is a speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the Press Conference on the Launch of the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre today (February 27):
Dr Wang, Mr Kaplan, Mr Wong, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to be here today to speak at the Joint Press Conference hosted by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre on the launch of the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.
As we enter into the Information Age, the use of information technology has become part of our everyday life and the Internet provides a brand new medium for us to perform our daily activities. Apart from searching for information, the Internet provides another platform for us to purchase goods and for enterprises to conduct business transactions. This new breed of service, collectively known as e-business, has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Today, many enterprises have established web sites to provide information about their products and services. Some also sell products and services, either directly through online purchasing service or indirectly through soliciting placement of orders by e-mail, telephone or fax. The Internet can help these enterprises to market their products and services practically to all parts of the world, beyond geographical and time barriers.
As Internet activities have become more and more popular and prevalent, the number of Internet domain names registered has also substantially increased. In Hong Kong, the number of ".hk" domain names registered has increased from 46 000 by end 2000 to over 57 000 now. The number of ".cn" domain names registered in Mainland China has also increased to over 120 000.
However, as in other areas, the Internet community is not without disputes. Internet domain name, like trademark, is frequently subject to dispute in the Internet world. In the past, such disputes could only be resolved in courts, but this would take time and involve substantial cost. To tie in with international developments, we have implemented an alternative domain name dispute resolution mechanism for ".hk" domain names through arbitration since June 1 last year. The Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company, which is responsible for administration of domain names in Hong Kong, has appointed the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre to provide the dispute resolution service. This allows domain name disputes to be resolved efficiently, and at a very low cost.
Following this development which benefits Hong Kong locally, we are now proud that the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre, formed by the arbitration bodies in the Mainland and Hong Kong, has successfully applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to become one of its Approved Providers for Domain Name Dispute Resolution, which is the world's fourth and Asia's first and only such authorised service provider. Through the offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre will provide arbitration service for disputes on domain names not only for the Mainland and Hong Kong, but the whole of Asia. The launch of the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre today marks a milestone in the collaboration between the Mainland and Hong Kong which puts the two places in the focus of international Internet development. I am sure both places will substantially benefit from this collaboration, which will also help implement Hong Kong's vision to position as an Internet hub in the region.
I must say the fact that Asia's first approved domain name dispute resolution service provider is a partnership involving Hong Kong is no accident at all. It is a reaffirmation of our institutional strength as well as a place for doing business where the best international standards and practices prevail. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the launch of the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre and wish it every success in its future operation. Thank you.
End/Wednesday, February 27, 2002