For immediate release
27 January 2016
Minds + Machines Group Limited
("MMX", the "Company" or "Group")
Minds + Machines Group Limited (LSE:MMX), the publicly quoted owner and operator of Internet top-level domains, is pleased to announce its expansion into the Chinese market with the appointment of the highly respected registry service company, ZDNS (互联网域名系统北京市工程研究中心有限公司), as its local infrastructure partner. The Company has also appointed Allegravita LLC, a leading strategic marketing company focused on introducing registry businesses into China, to advise the Company on its market entry strategy.
To date, Allegravita has advised 15 registries, which include market-leaders such as .CLUB Domains, Neustar, ICM, Radix and Rightside, while ZDNS, China's leading registry backend service provider, currently enables over 40 top-level domains, including .xyz, .top, .wang, .club and .网址(.url in Chinese characters), comply with Chinese regulations on domain name administration. Combined, new gTLD clients of ZDNS and Allegravita have seen over 2.3 million domains sold into the market through Chinese registrars.
Antony Van Couvering, CEO of MMX, commented:
"We are greatly honoured to be partnered with the renowned Chinese Internet sector pioneer Dr. Mao Wei and his highly respected organisation, ZDNS, and to be working with local partners able to ensure we meet all MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) requirements. We very much look forward to successfully entering into the Chinese market and to supporting China's rapidly growing digital economy."
Dr. Mao Wei (毛伟), the Director of ZDNS, said:
"Minds + Machines has demonstrated itself to be an organisation of the highest integrity partnering with major cities and commercial organisations globally. We therefore look forward to supporting the Group fully in China."
MMX is also pleased to report that it is currently on-boarding its first major Chinese registrars. The Company is additionally at an advanced stage of establishing its wholly foreign-owned enterprise ("WFOE") in China, Beijing Ming Zhi Mo Si Technology Company Limited (北京明智墨思科技有限公司).
Management, which is scheduled to visit China in February to support the launch, anticipates the Group's first domain sales in China will commence in late Q1 when the first tranche of seven MMX wholly-owned domains will be introduced into the Chinese market. These will be .beer, .fashion, .fit, .law, .wedding, .work and .yoga. It is anticipated that .VIP will then be launched during Q2 where a major focus will be on the Chinese market. .购物 (shopping - IDN) will be launched later in the year.
David Weill, non-executive director of MMX and special advisor to the Company on Asia, added:
"Following extensive consumer focus-group testing of our portfolio, it is clear we have a group of top-level domains that resonate exceptionally well with Chinese audiences. Through our strategy of partnering with proven in-country industry leaders, we believe we are well-placed to enter this fast-growing market in a highly effective manner."
According to official Chinese government data*, by December 2015, 31.02 million domain names were registered in China. Since MIIT released its new regulations on top level domains in May 2015, domain name registrations that can be attributed to new gTLDs currently seeking compliance with China's regulations increased from 400,000 to 3,000,000** in a six-month period, approximately 26% of total new gTLD registrations globally. As such, MMX's management considers the Chinese market to have rapidly established itself as an extremely important and active participant in the world market for domain names.
Minds + Machines Group Limited
Antony Van Couvering Tel: +1 310 452-1491
N+1 Singer (Nomad and Broker)
Shaun Dobson / Liz Yong Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000
MMX investor relations
Toby Hall Tel: +44 (0)7713 341072
For further information, please go to http://investors.mindsandmachines.com
About Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines (LSE:MMX) is a leading owner and operator of new generic Top Level Domains ("gTLDs"), and provides registry services to a range of high-profile clients. The Group also provides domain name services through its wholly owned registrar operations in the US and Europe. For more information on Minds + Machines and its services and companies within the Group, please go to http://investors.mindsandmachines.com.
* Source: China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) report "中国互联网络发展状况统计报告" http://www.cnnic.cn/gywm/xwzx/rdxw/2015/201601/W020160122639198410766.pdf￼
** Source: BitsCN report "2015年中国域名市场七大"关键词"http://www.bitscn.com/net/615081.html