dotMobi launches major foray into Chinese mobile market

13 Oct 2009

The Dublin-headquartered mobile top-level domain dotMobi has launched into the Chinese market, one of the fastest-growing mobile web-user populations on the planet.

dotMobi has launched its one-of-a-kind mobile keyword and .mobi domain bundle for Chinese brands and businesses, offered in partnership with China-based mobile keyword vendor Huarui.

dotMobi made the announcement during this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade visit to China.

Subscriber numbers

More than 50pc of China’s 1.3 billion citizens are estimated to be mobile subscribers – a figure that will quickly grow with the advent of 3G networks, which are just now arriving in China.

And as with other countries, 3G mobile network speeds will drive the growth of mobile web use. dotMobi’s unique mobile keyword and .mobi domain bundle is designed to meet the needs of businesses in that burgeoning mobile-web environment.

“The packaging of mobile keywords and .mobi domains is a global first,” Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi, explained.

“This gives Chinese site owners the flexibility of using the .mobi domain to help ensure successful discovery by search engines, while using both the .mobi domain and matching keyword in advertising efforts.”

The popularity of keywords

Keywords – memorable words that a user can type into a mobile phone instead of a number – are popular in China.

And specific to the Chinese market, dotMobi will offer web addresses in Chinese characters.

These addresses in non-standard language characters are known as Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).

The use of Chinese-character IDNs will allow search engines to find Chinese-language mobile-web sites more easily.

Web searches via mobile phones

According to Analysys International, more than 270 million web searches were performed on mobile phones in China in the second quarter of 2009 – double the figure from a year earlier, which highlights the importance of search for the Chinese mobile web.

“With 700 million Chinese mobile subscribers, a rising number are using the web on their phones as carriers in China roll out 3G services,” said Ma Yanli, CEO of Huarui.

“Being able to find content that works on mobile phones is extremely important, given the ongoing rise in mobile-web users, and that is why Huarui is happy to be collaborating with dotMobi,” Yanli added.

The dotMobi/Huarui bundle of keywords and Chinese-language .mobi domains will be available in a special sunrise period beginning at 4am China time (UTC) on 29 October, 2009, and will finish at 4am UTC on 28 November, 2009.

Immediately after 28 November, 2009, general registration will commence, and the keyword/Chinese-language .mobi domain bundle will be available at standard prices.

By John Kennedy

Photo: More than 270 million web searches were performed on mobile phones in China in the second quarter of 2009, Analysys International reports.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years