.asia Introduced 2006 TLD type Sponsored top-level domain Status Active Registry Afilias Sponsor DotAsia Organisation Intended use As a regional domain for Asia and the Pacific Registration restrictions Requires one contact in the Asia/Australia/Pacific region Structure Registrations are taken directly at second level Documents Proposal to ICANN Dispute policies UDRP; Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Policy; also local dispute policies for Asian countries based on their local ccTLD policy Website DotAsia.org DNSSEC yes
.asia is a sponsored top-level domain sponsored by the DotAsia Organization, with the back-end registry operated by Afilias. It was approved by ICANN on 19 October 2006 as a sponsored TLD. It serves as a regional domain for companies, organizations, and individuals based in the region of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific.
The .asia domain opened to registrations on a first-come, first-served basis on 26 March 2008.
The sunrise period for .asia began on 9 October 2007, and ended on 31 January 2008.
From 20 February 2008 to 12 March 2008, .asia was in the land rush state. Anyone meeting the .asia registration requirements could apply for any available .asia domain name. Each domain name for which there was more than one request will be[update] auctioned among the applicants after the initial registration period closes. The auction process is considered innovative for a TLD launch; however, it may be biased against individuals and non-profit driven entities, as they typically lack the scale of funds available to commercial enterprises.
During the land rush state 473,633 domain registration applications were received, bringing the total number of applications to 505,838. (Note that these are applications for registration rather than actual registrations, so many may be contested by auction or be disqualified.) As of November 2010, the number of registered .asia domains was 182,692. 
Although intended to confine eligibility to genuine denizens of the extended Asia-Pacific region, in practice, many entities outside the area have been able to register .asia domains without qualm by selecting an agent (typically provided by a registrar). It is yet to be seen if this will disqualify auction contenders or lead to legal challenges, as it may contravene the .asia charter:
- To sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-Asia and Asia Pacific Internet community.
Conflict of interest
Allegations of insider trading and conflict of interest have been levelled at the CEO of Pool.com, a Canadian company with exclusive rights to auction .ASIA domains prior to initial allocation. The CEO, Richard Schreier, is accused of securing with unfair advantage several premium .ASIA domain names via a number of corporations he apparently has links with.
Mr Schreier specifies that he does "not have any ownership interest" in the corporations involved. As of 15 May 2008, it is unclear whether Mr Schreier has control over the domains in question, nor whether this would breach the DotAsia contract or any laws for countries that the TLD applies to.
The 'DotAsia.com Plot' website that makes the allegations, claims to have received correspondence from CEO of DotAsia, Mr Chung, stating that "Being a party related to a bidding party, in my understanding, does not automatically create any issue." If there is such an affiliation, it would almost certainly be illegal under Australian competition law (where one of the companies involved, Throne Ventures Pty Ltd, is registered.)
Some of the domains in question: porn.asia; dating.asia; insurance.asia; lotto.asia; stocks.asia; auction.asia; beer.asia; fitness.asia; girls.asia; wine.asia
However, all of these domains according to the .ASIA whois service, were awarded during the Sunrise period which means their applications were made with a claim of prior right (registered trademark identical to the domain name). These claims would have been validated by the .ASIA validation partner (there were two, including Deloitte Touche) and where multiple applications were received, the domains would go to auction. The actual auction schedule shows these domains did not go to auction from which it can be concluded there was only a single verified application for the domains in question.
- ^ DotAsia Auctions Aim to Address Problems of the Past
- ^ http://www.dotasia.org/pressreleases/DotAsia-PR-LRClosed-2008-03-13_EN.pdf
- ^ "ICANN Registry report for .asia November 2011". http://www.icann.org/en/tlds/monthly-reports/asia/asia-transactions-201011.csv.
- ^ http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreements/asia/appendix-s-06dec06.htm#1
- ^ the dotasia-complot
- ^ Asia and Pool.com Come Under Fire | Domain Name News
- ^ the dotasia-complot
- DotAsia - Official registry for .asia
- DotAsia.org - Members
- Map of "insider" bidding by the auction platform's CEO
- Article on "insider" bidding by the auction platform's CEO
- IANA .asia WHOIS info
- BBC News article
- DotAsia domain sales archive
- Allegations website 'DotAsia.com Plot'
- Dot Asia's official response to the allegations
- Richard Schreier's response to the allegations
Generic top-level domains Current General Sponsored Infrastructure Deleted/retired Reserved Pseudo Proposed Locations Language and
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