NamesCon Sponsor Spotlight: Global Domains International (.WS Registry)

dot-ws-registryNamesCon is just a few weeks away, and we are running a series of interviews featuring conference sponsors. Today’s interview is with Ken Hansen, Senior Advisor at Global Domains International. Inc., operator of the .WS Registry.

We are expecting the largest turnout for NamesCon to date, with over 1,400 attendees expected! NamesCon 2017 will be held at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference will be held January 22-25, 2017 and conference tickets are available now!

What is your company’s mandate; what sets you apart?

The .WS top-level domain, launched in 1999, is a short and easy-to-remember extension meaning “WebSite” or “WÇŽngShāng” 网商 (“website” in Chinese). Today, hundreds of thousands of companies, organizations and individuals use .WS for their presence online. The .WS TLD is gaining significant traction in international markets, especially in China.

What’s the story behind how your company was founded?

In 1998, the dot com craze was beginning to ramp up to unbelievable proportions. So many Internet companies sprouted up in Silicon Valley, and elsewhere, that companies not swept up in the hysteria were thought to be missing out. The Founders of Global Domains International, Inc. (GDI), recognized another opportunity that was largely ignored; they wondered, “Besides dot com, are there other extensions that businesses could use as a domain name?” They knew that a good, easy-to-remember country code could be marketable globally as a viable alternative to .com. They ultimately focused on the domain extension “.WS” — which belongs to the tiny island nation of Samoa, deep in the South Pacific. They thought .WS could be successfully marketed worldwide as meaning ‘WebSite’. After a highly competitive process, which included meeting the King of Samoa, they reached an agreement to operate the .WS registry and market .WS domains worldwide.

How would you define your company strategy and vision?

WS is the shortest representative of the popular term “Website” and “WÇŽngShāng” 网商 (“website” in Chinese). .WS provides businesses, organizations and individuals with a memorable, short and generic choice for branding.

How will your company engage attendees at the upcoming NamesCon?

The .WS registry looks forward to meeting attendees at our “Beer Stand” on Sunday. Stop by, have a beer and chat with .WS Senior Advisor, Ken Hansen. Ken will also join the China Master Class panel, and will be available to meet up all week.

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Although .WS is not new, we are big supporters of choice in branding. .WS stands to benefit as businesses and consumers become aware of alternatives, and the branding opportunities they offer.

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming conference?

Although GDI has been operating the .WS registry since 1999, NamesCon is our first major sponsorship at a domain conference. We chose NamesCon for the opportunity to meet with so many domain investors, registrar distribution partners, and meet the domain community. Please stop by our Beer Stand on Sunday to celebrate and kick off the week!

Where can attendees find out more about your company, product or services while at NamesCon?

Learn more about .WS domains and Global Domains International at Domain investors can review available premium domains at

If you have a company representative speaking at NamesCon, is there anything you can share about what to expect during your session or keynote?

Ken Hansen is the Founder of Zhongguo Ventures LLC – a consultancy providing international business development for Chinese technology companies, and helping domain and Internet infrastructure companies enter the China market. He has been working with partners in the China domain industry since 2002, and was a co-founder of China Springboard, a Beijing-based domain registrar, marketplace and parking company. Ken is currently a Sr. Advisor to Global Domains International (“.WS Registry) and Hong Kong-based Dot Trademark (.商标). Ken will join the China Masterclass panel at NamesCon to: share his experience; discuss the developments in the China domain market over the past two years, and the current trends.


  1. Mr Lau thank you for this post but why don’t you ask the hard questions of Mr Hansen? Such as mentioned above the reg fee? Also and more importantly when, if ever, will .ws be approved in China such as .xyz and .club now are not just “gaining ground” as Mr Hansen mentioned. There’s no doubt that .ws works well with pinyin names etc but only if it’s approved otherwise it’s another waste of time for investors – not end users perhaps but investors. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

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