With the coming of the Year of the Fire Monkey on February 8th 2016, Allegravita looks back on our Year of the Wood Ram as one of our best on record.
Allegravita, experts in China strategic advisory and communications, has provided critical support to more than 250 client companies over 13 years.
Allegravita worked to achieve our trademark “relentless delivery” for our wonderful clients over the last 12 months. Without exception, our clients’ China market performance has been exemplary. Allegravita clients have executed remarkable operations in nearly every major metropolitan market in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Zhuhai, Hong Kong, Macau, and others. So, congratulations to all who we’ve advised and supported since the coming of the ram on February 19th, 2015!
The Year of the Ram saw many trends, milestones and positive wins, some of which are highlighted below.
A Network of Partners Dedicated to Relentless Delivery
Allegravita has for 13 years proactively developed a global network of like-minded agency- and strategic-partners. In the Year of the Ram, we added new partners in Korea, China, and the United States, bringing our global network to a total of twelve expert enterprises, tied together with trust and cooperative synergies, dedicated to our clients’ objectives.
Thank you to our steadfast agency partners, Sydney-based Blue Planet PR, Bahrain-based COMMunion, Seoul-based G3 Partners, Singapore-based Rice Communications (Singapore PR agency of the year!), and NYC/DC/LA/Austin-based Sunshine Sachs. Thanks to our energetic and highly capable strategic partner ZDNS/KNET (China’s most capable domain name and internet security services provider), and our wonderful conference partners in DOMAINfest.Asia, Jothan Frakes and .ASIA Registry, and NamesCon, the world’s premier domain name conference. Last but not least, congratulations to long-time Allegravita alumnus, Kane Gao, who started-up his own expert Chinese language consultancy, China Languages Management Group, which is now a close collaborator on our most demanding Chinese language challenges.
China’s Domain Name Sector
Allegravita deeply understands the requirements of entering China’s domain name sector, and we are arguably the foremost experts on regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, market entry, channel and consumer activation. We close out the Year of the Ram having advised 15 leading registries on China market entry, regulatory compliance, channel and consumer activation, digital marketing and public relations, media relations and government relations.
We sincerely thank (in alphabetical order) our current domain sector clients .CLUB Domains, .CO Registry, .GLOBAL, the Domain Name Association, Famous Four Media, ICM Registry, Minds + Machines, Neustar, Radix Registry, Rightside, Top Level Design. We also thank those domain businesses we executed China projects for in the Year of the Ram: .CEO, .FANS, and HostingCon China.
The Internet’s Rapid Expansion in China
The world’s largest Internet and technology companies are making great efforts to enter or re-enter the Chinese market since 2015, including some which previously left or faced censorship, namely Google and Facebook. In September, the CEOs of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others met Xi Jinping in Seattle as his first stop in the United States before meeting Obama in Washington, DC. We view the market opportunity for Western and Eastern technology enterprises as increasingly positive in the Year of the Monkey.
The Internet is arguably one of the most opaque sectors in China and the presence of censorship aggravates most market entrants. What analysts and China Hands have termed “the Great Firewall” frustrates even the most seasoned experts and expats in China, but with the right mix of due diligence, aggressive engagement and nuanced analysis, profitable business in China’s Internet sector can be cracked by non-Chinese.
Sports As a Major Focus of the Xi Jinping Administration
This year was the year of soccer, and China’s Xi Jinping administration has made no secret of its love of the sport. Comic books and campaigns have launched (example on the right) to show the importance of improving China’s soccer talent in the coming years. Allegravita has been working with a key charitible foundation client (which must remain confidential) to develop a youth soccer CSR program that will work in tandem with these political developments as soccer further expands in the Middle Kingdom.
Additionally, building on Allegravita’s credentials from our years of work with government and state-media during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, this year we have begun collaboration with Gridiron Leaders Foundation and the American Football League of China to bring American football to Chinese youth and the Chinese consumer. AFLC in particular will be holding their third annual championship in Shanghai’s Yuanshen Stadium in Pudong on January 16th with design-work from our own team and media placements from our media network in China.
China’s Startup Sector Burst Onto the World Stage
Many have been taken by surprise by the explosion of Chinese startups in the Year of the Ram; Allegravita was not amongst the surprised. We have been tracking the coming of China’s startup sector for several exciting years, and we were possibly the first in the world to report in detail on Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s historic startup sector policies in April (mere days after the policies were announced during 2015’s annual “Two Sessions”: our Slideshare explainer, Background on China’s Startup Culture, remains one of the clearest overviews on China’s new startup sector opportunities.
The Year of the Fire Monkey is Upon Us!
During the Year of the Fire Monkey, starting on 8th February, we look forward to furthering the remarkable work of our clients and contributing to the exciting momentum of burgeoning business bridging the West, the East, and China. The robustness of our own clients’ businesses in 2015 is testament to the dynamism and inventiveness of Chinese consumers and businesses and the vitality of Western brands and businesses there. This will continue for years to come.
The following is a short recap of some of our proudest accomplishments this year.
A number of milestones in China were achieved this year for .CLUB Domains with the help of Allegravita, including .CLUB’s first ever China premium domain name auction, which we coordinated with Beijing-based EachNic of the EJEE Group. The highly regarded auction helped contribute to their more than US$1 million sales in November 2015, a record-breaking premium sales figure for new gTLD domain registries worldwide.
Allegravita was especially proud of the clarity and simplicity of the new auction platform (which we consulted to EJEE on, and which we wrote the English interface for), the dozens of Chinese media stories we pitched and saw published for the auction (adding to the >450 Chinese media stories we have facilitated for .CLUB so far) and for the universally happy buyers of .CLUB’s excellent and culturally relevant premium domain name inventory.
CLUB has made its way steadily into the Chinese market over 2015, successfully completing incorporation of a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) using Allegravita’s Beijing- and New York City-based corporate services team, implementing innovative promotional activities (such as CEO Colin Campbell’s lecture on entrepreneurialism and startups to the prestigious MBA class of the Beijing Foreign Studies University).
Of particular note was .CLUB’s year in Chinese social media — on 1st February 2016, after a lengthy and detailed application process managed by Allegravita, .CLUB became the world’s first-ever non-Chinese domain name registry to achieve a Verified Company WeChat account. Expect to see .CLUB continue to grow its Chinese fanbase on WeChat, Weibo, Chinese Facebook, Youku and Baike in the Year of the Monkey.
With Allegravita’s support, .CLUB will be one of the first new gTLD registries in China to be approved by the Central Government’s MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology).
Following the extremely positive reception that the Allegravita-researched, written and presented Chinese Domaining Masterclass at NamesCon.vegas in January 2015, we set to developing our second Chinese domain name sector masterclass — this time from the “ASCII and IDN” perspective.
The result was the acclaimed Allegravita’s China Boot Camp series of masterclasses, which our CEO Simon Cousins and our CTO Raymond Li presented to the DOMAINFest.Asia conference in Macau, in September 2015.
The innovative masterclass series was notable in that it was fully bilingual (English & Mandarin) and was successful in bringing the Chinese and international domain name investment communities together in a way never before attempted.
In January 2016, our fully-revised China Boot Camps were presented to more than 500 delegates to the NamesCon 2016 conference.
Look out for Allegravita’s China Boot Camp v3.0 to be presented in the Year of the Monkey!
Allegravita was invited to join tech giant Neustar’s China Partnered Solutions program in tandem with ZDNS/KNET (see below) and China’s CONAC (China Organizational Name Administration Center) to provide incorporation in China through Wholly-Owned Foreign Enterprise (WFOE) vehicles, MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) registry application processing, and required escrow services for all domain name registries.
We are delighted to be a part of Neustar’s China Partnered Solutions program, and we look forward to supporting many more domain registries in their China objectives during the Year of the Monkey!
In the first months of the Year of the Ram, Allegravita joined forces with NamesCon co-founder Jothan Frakes and the venerable .Asia Registry to create a greatly-needed new conference for China and the world to meet and learn to understand each other better. By September 2015, the first-ever DOMAINfest.Asia was staged in Macau!
Assembled with many innovative features by the winning team of Jothan Frakes, .Asia and Allegravita — with generous support of many sponsors and partners — the conference at the Grand Hyatt Macau attracted the best and brightest from the world’s domain name sector, linking them with China’s domain registries and registrars at the former Portuguese colony.
The DNA (Domain Name Association) represents the interests of the world’s domain name industry, as well as some of the world’s largest Internet companies. Its membership includes Google, Amazon, GoDaddy, and Neustar to name a few.
In the Year of the Ram, Allegravita provided broad support to the DNA, including creating, designing, and editing the DNA’s first, second and fourth editions of its flagship periodical State of the Domains for distribution in English and Chinese among industry professionals worldwide. A number of educational initiatives were also supported by Allegravita’s design-work and expertise, including the new DNA website, the DNA University educational initiative, the DNA’s Industry Leaders video interview series, PR and journalism support, and industry event presentations and representation.
.CO, the world’s most popular domain for startups , participated in two Startup Salads in China in Shanghai and Zhuhai, as well as one Hack-Shanghai. To date .CO has sold 2 million domain names, US$1.8 million in premium domains.
Signed mid-year, Allegravita has localized the .CO brand for China, developed and published a wide variety of Chinese marketing collateral items, coded designed and launched a warmly-received new Chinese website, and has successfully placed dozens of positive stories about .CO success stories into China’s tech and startup media sector.
In October 2015, we introduced .CO to a new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs by partnering with a series of startup organizations and opening direct communication with thousands of young entrepreneurs. Since then, 12 teams became .CO users at recent startup events, and .CO looks forward to building even more momentum with these entrepreneurial rising stars in 2016!
Gridiron Leaders Foundation and the American Football League of China
Allegravita created the first-ever standard glossary for American football (Gridiron) terminology in Chinese for the Gridiron Leaders Foundation, a nonprofit organization bringing American football fellows to China for education on the values of football, education and teamwork.
Allegravita has provided a wide range of Chinese PR and branding work for Gridiron in China, including the design of logos and materials for the third annual championship game of the AFLC (American Football League Championship) in Shanghai’s Pudong, which will be held on January 16.
Gridiron is growing fast in China, and Allegravita is deeply proud to be supporing the great game in our home territory.
Allegravita partnered with G3Partners, Asia’s premier startup PR experts headed out of Seoul, Korea to expand our clients’ operations into Korea, to and provide Chinese expertise for G3 clients. As Korea and Asia’s best startup PR specialists, G3Partners is a wonderful and highly compatible partner for Allegravita’s relentless delivery.
As an initial gesture of parntership, Allegravita translated the G3 website to Chinese, as shown below, and G3 reciprocated with a new Korean version of allegravita.com (soon to be launched!)
In August 2015, Allegravita entered into a strategic partnership with ZDNS/KNET to assist foreign domain name registries with their applications to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
ZDNS is deeply connected to Beijing’s Internet regulators and is the clear leader in provision of technical platform services ensuring full regulatory compliance with MIIT requirements. ZDNS Chairman Dr. Mao Wei was the founder of CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), a government regulator of the Internet and as such is a legendary figure who helped to connect the Internet to China.
The strategic partnership of ZDNS/KNET and Allegravita has yielded many positive outcomes for our common clients, including interim market access that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, streamlined regulatory applications resulting in industry-leading timelines to MIIT approval, and a more-informed industry.
China Hands NYC
In 2013, Allegravita’s Simon Cousins and China Luxury Advisors‘ Avery Booker created China Hands NYC as a monthly meetup dedicated to current and former expats in China and other China hands. In the Year of the Ram, China Hands NYC achieved a new record of 11 meetups in 12 months, building a wonderful community of friends and allies with a shared passion for China.
With monthly speakers as diverse as Chinese political and economic experts to Chinese musicians and artists, we had our best year ever. In the Year of the Monkey, we look forward to continuing these networking and speaking events this year.
Minds + Machines
In January 2015, Allegravita was appointed by Minds + Machines, a leading London-based portfolio new gTLD registry, to expand their operations and marketing into China and Chinese-speaking markets worldwide.
Minds + Machines kindly acknowledged Allegravita’s support in the company’s “China Update” memo to the London Stock Exchange on January 27, 2016. We look forward to a great Year of the Monkey with the dynamic Minds + Machines team!
Allegravita partnered with the GMIC conference, a worldwide platform for the mobile tech industry, to bring media coverage to the events in San Francisco in September 2015. We look forward to continued collaboration with GMIC in Beijing in May 2016!
In January 2015, Allegravita was appointed by Radix Registry, a leading India-based portfolio new gTLD registry, to expand their operations and marketing into China and Chinese-speaking markets worldwide.
The Allegravita team is currently preparing for a full China PR, marketing and activation plan in the Year of the Monkey. The energy and operational efficiencies of the Radix team are truly superb, and Sandeep’s team and ours are a very good cultral fit.
We look forward to a great Year of the Monkey with the Radix team!
Allegravita was engaged in crisis communications for an Australian pet food company that had received undue and unfair accusations in China about the quality of its excellent organic Australian pet food.
By implementing our proven crisis mitigation methodology across Chinese social media and PR, Allegravita demonstrated overwhelming evidence to the contrary on Chinese social media, effectively ending the untrue accusations in short order.
Our crisis communications services have repeatedly shown excellent, on-brand and objective-driven outcomes in China, and we’re proud to have delivered with our proven methodology for a fine Australian company of pet lovers. The pets of China will continue to enjoy nutritious and safe Nature’s Gift foods in the Year of the Monkey.