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Rise of the Dragon: Domain theft in China is gaining momentum

Made in China - the triple x version.

The number of domain thefts originating in China is on the rise.

China is a technological giant and a rapidly developing economy; the country is changing at unprecedented rates, unknown to most western economies.

Facing this extreme financial growth, the Chinese have acquired a lethal attraction to consumerism and luxury. The ability to spend creates the desire to want and seek goods, services and digital assets, including domain names.

Large domain auction venues, such as 4.CN and ename.com will soon be looming even larger, perhaps under the observant eye of multi-billion dollar corporations, such as Alibaba.

Meanwhile, the ability to buy and sell digital assets such as domain names for thousands of dollars, generates instant interest in them from those on the other side of the law.

Domain theft is becoming a major issue in China, and it will continue to expand under the aspis of general lawlessness that exists currently. Domain registrars involved in domain thefts, such as that of Lightly.com, are facing a new reality where the usual shrugging off of one’s claims, must be adjusted to westernized and global standards of law.

Due to the sheer size of its economy, China now presents a much bigger threat to digital assets, such as domain names, than countries traditionally prone to harbor cybercriminals. Until recently, the majority of domain thefts occurred by individuals residing in countries of the Middle East, with Iran being a notorious source of such incidents during the 2000’s.

China is on a par with Russia and Ukraine currently, as far as the volume of domain theft is concerned; it is expected that in the next 24 months, the number of incidents originating in China will surpass every other country.

China: A vast land of many opportunities.

China: A vast land of many opportunities.

Domain reselling in China is a lucrative business and most legitimate domain investors make a good return on their investment. The Chinese domain market is rapidly going through its original phase of domain flipping, to reselling for a much larger profit. Domestic sales within China are expected to expand further, with the adoption of Chinese gTLDs and new gTLDs in general.

We are also seeing instances where Chinese domain portfolios are being stolen by fellow Chinese, a crime that can have serious repercussions under strict Chinese law on general theft. Currently, we are monitoring the activity of a particular group of domain thieves that are located in China and we’ll continue providing updates once we locate and verify the status of stolen domain names.

If you need to raise awareness to a particular domain that was stolen, here are some guidelines for providing media coverage.

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