DOMAINfest.Asia Focusing on China-West Communication and Business

I have five simple objectives for DOMAINfest.Asia, and I’m putting these five objectives into the beginning of all four of our China Boot Camp sessions at DOMAINfest.Asia this weekend:

1. Cross-cultural communication
2. Insights into China for westerners
3. Insights into the west for Chinese

The vision that we three hosts — Jothan Frakes, the .Asia team and my Allegravita team — had in our very first conversations about staging a historical first “China equally meets west” domain conference was that both sides should have ample opportunity to learn about each other. There is far, far lack of understanding of China from the western domain industry than there is understanding, and it is true vice versa as well. Helping western businesses to enter and prosper in China has been my life’s mission for the 13 years we’ve been running Allegravita, so I view healthy and positive cross-cultural communication as the purpose for this entire domain conference.

4. Better business
5. More business

As an extremely active team of domain industry professionals, the Allegravita crew and I are of the opinion that the China opportunity for western domain businesses is vastly untapped. And as you can count the number of Chinese domain businesses thriving in the west on one hand, the reverse is also the case. DOMAINfest.Asia, opening in only a few hours from the time I’m writing this note for, is all about driving better business (which should be less costly and more profitable, and have greater velocity), and more of that, please!

DOMAINfest.Asia has drawn almost a hundred notable domain professionals from across China and the world. We are lucky to have some of the most experienced and successful people in the business here in Macau’s City of Dreams Grand Hyatt this weekend (and I’ll decline to name names at the risk of leaving so many great people out of this note!)

Our own team, Allegravita, is presenting a series of sessions that many people who attended the Chinese Domaining Masterclasses at NamesCon will benefit from. We are enormously proud that we researched and wrote every single word of the Masterclasses, under contract to our client TLD Registry, and we commend that IDN registry for having the foresight to hire us to present that helpful material. But for DOMAINfest.Asia, we didn’t want to simply expand the curriculum on the methods of creating Chinese premium domains. We wanted to directly address our five main objectives, which I outlined earlier.

So our China Boot Camp sessions have been designed to teach much of what we know about the actual mechanics of the Chinese domain sector:

China Boot Camp for Registries will teach about the issues that impact domain registries in China, including the latest developments in MIIT approvals (which are required to be able to sell domains via Chinese mainland registrars), and a practical overview of sales and marketing strategies to engage Chinese registrars and excite Chinese registrants. In this session, our China Practice Manager and CTO Raymond Li and I are delighted to be welcoming experts Sophia Feng (ZDNS), Michele Van Tilborg (.CLUB) and Crystal Peterson (Neustar) to the main stage.

China Boot Camp for Registrars starts with the idea that China’s retail domain name market is complex, with around a hundred registrars selling domains through overlapping networks of hundreds of thousands of resellers. Chinese government policies, such as ICP licenses, MIIT approvals and content filtering further differentiate China’s retail and corporate domain markets from the conventions of the western world. In this session, Raymond and I will be welcoming our friends and leading registrars Evan Chen (Nawang) and Patrick McCleery (Hexonet) to explore the interesting complexities and contrasts between China and the world.

China Boot Camp for Domainers will follow on Sunday, with a 2-part agenda which will present brand-new research our Chinese premium domain team have developed on how Chinese registrants and netizens perceive domain names (and in contrast to the Chinese Domaining Masterclass, will focus on ASCII rather than IDN this time). In this session we are so excited to have some of the most successful domainers in the Chinese market: William Lin (, Richard Trainor and Dan Pelusi (Houghton Richards).

Our final China Boot Camp for DOMAINfest.Asia 2015 will focus on straight-up cross-cultural training, to help both the Chinese and western sides understand each other’s behaviors better (again, to help achieve our key objectives). Material presented in this session will draw on all 13 years of our team’s experience and understanding of what makes China tick.

It would be immodest of me to fail to mention the many other excellent sessions being presented this weekend by experts too numerous to list. I fully expect to leave DOMAINfest.Asia having learned much more than before I arrived. Please check the conference agenda for a full listing of all the great sessions that Jothan and the organizing team have pulled together.

In closing, I’d like to thank Elliot Silver for having the foresight to invite me to write a few words in advance of the opening day of DOMAINfest.Asia. I’m a great admirer of Elliot’s focus and expertise, and I never fail to learn from Elliot every single week. Elliot, I’d like to repay your generosity with exclusive online access to a brand new infographic our Allegravita team has created for this purpose, “Where Are the Domain Registrars of China“.

And thanks, also, to every single domain pro who has made the often long trip to Macau to attend DOMAINfest.Asia, the incredibly hard-working co-founder of DOMAINfest and NamesCon, Jothan Frakes, and Edmon Chung, Leona Chen-Birkner and the whole .Asia crew, whose mastery of Asian and Chinese domains is second to none.


  1. Is Australia part of the ‘Asia Bootcamp’? If so I’ve got Sydney.City / Brisbane.City / Melbourne.City & Perth.City that I’d love to include in your ‘Asia Auction’.


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