A new racket in Chinese domain names?

Over the past few days, I've gotten email from two different Chinese domain name registrars. In each case they've notified me that somebody wants to register the Chinese version of one of my domain names, and suggests that I instead register it first, to protect my trademark and so on. One even helpfully named the outfit that wants to register the name, and points out that it's a domain name investment firm.

So far as I can tell, there are three possible explanations for this:

  • Coincidence.
  • A small wave of Chinese domain name squatting activity.
  • An attempt by registrars to drum up business, by stampeding domain name owners into also registering .cn domains.

As for my guess as to which is most likely, perhaps that can be surmised from the following part of one exchange.

Them:

Dear Curt Monash:

Thank for your letter. According to our investigation, Wenda company is a domain name investment company. They must want to get some profits from registering your company's domain names. As domain name registrar, We are obligated to inform you of this matter.Because we found www.dbms2.com have been registered by you, we informed you in time.If you think these domain names are useful for your company or it will take some bad effect aftet being grabbed, we can help your company dispute these domain names back and register for your company,we will send application form and register procedure to you,you can assist us and finish the registration. If these domain names would not affect your company, you can give up.We will finish registration of Wenda company. Hope get your decision ASAP, so that we can handle the next step. If you have any questions,please contact me.

Kind Regards,

Peter Zhou

Fax: ---

Email: ---

Shanghai Chooke Network Information Technology Co., Ltd

website:www.chooke.com.cn

Me:

Hello,

I can't get your web site to load for me, in Firefox or Internet Explorer alike.

I can't find evidence on the Web that a domain name investor named Wenda exists, nor can I determine whether, if it does, you are affiliated with them.

Perhaps because your site doesn't load, I can't find out whether you ever signed the Convention on the Self-Discipline of the Internet Address Registration Service Industry.

All things considered, it is very difficult for me to proceed.

Best regards,

CAM

Edit: A forum thread picking up on this blog post contains comments from other people who have received similar email.

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