My company is currently being solicited by a registrar (HuYi, 8hy.cn) to purchase Internet Keywords from CNNIC. Apparently, you type the keywords into your web browser, which has the CNNIC plugin installed, and then it will re-direct you to the registered URL.
The reason they are asking now is because another applicant (ename.cn) is trying to register the keywords of our company name in English and Chinese. I can only guess that it's another form of squatting. If we don't register by tomorrow, it supposedly means that we allow ename.cn to proceed with their registration. Each keyword would cost HK$8,800 (US$1,131) for 10 years, or HK$5,500 (US$708) for six years.
The problem is that I can't find any information on this CNNIC software, except for this Wikipedia page and a few articles off of Google that describe it as malware. The official CNNIC site offers little info, no real statistics, and broken English. Naturally, I'm very skeptical about all this and I don't want to support malware. But if their software is popular or will become popular enough to replace domains, then it may not be a good idea to ignore their requests.
My advise is do NOT use them.
We have a similar company JWORD actually using CNNIC's script. I used them for 1 year, because they had a campaign and I could register a keyword pretty cheap.
And next year, they did the same thing to me: "Other company is waiting to register your keyword, renew your contract if you don't want to lose your keyword to them (this time $4000/year per keyword)".
After a year, JWORD had no impact on ROI. And some security software recognize it malware.
Useless service. Let other company register your keywords.
Hi BurakUeda. Thanks very much for your reply. I was afraid of not getting any responses. With your input and this web page, I'm just about to deny their quotation. Basically, an official Chinese government agency is resorting to malware and promoting an isolated keyword system that could replace DNS. Terrible.
I wouldn't go as far as describing the keyword system as malware, but I would definitely stay away from HuYi. Our company was also contacted by them saying that someone wants to register our trademark keyword and if we don't respond within 5 days they will release it to the other party.
After some phone calls I got the feeling they were full of it and were trying to scare us into paying them exorbitant rates. They said that we had to register for 10 years because this is what the registry required, which is total BS.
Anyway - we ignored them and nothing happened. Nobody registered our "trademarked" keywords.
A couple of months later we registered our keywords with IPMirror (www.ipmirror.com), which is based on Singapore so you don't have to deal with these Chinese scaremongers. They are SGD100 or USD69 per year.
It really is a shame that the official registrars resort to these tactics.