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In recent weeks, I have received many emails from clients asking about an email they received regarding registration of a domain name – which corresponds to their trademark – in China. Every single one I have been forwarded is a scam.

The email looks something like this:

Dear CEO/President,

We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on June 28, 2012 that a company claimed “XXXXX” were applying to register “YYYYYYYY” as their Net Brand and some YYYYYY Asian countries top-level domain names.

Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you didn’t authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for “XXXXXXXX”. Looking forward to your prompt reply.

or 

(If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to your President or appropriate person, thanks)

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china, have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on May 3, 2012. one company which self-styled “XXXXX” were applying to register “YYYYY” as Network Brand and following domain names:

[list of domain names ending in .cn, .asia, .hk, etc.]

After our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for “XXXXXX”.

Best Regards,

DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE EMAILS. They are a total scam as far as I know, and as far as every single report I have ever read about them.. No client of mine (more than 1,500 US trademark registrations) has ever had to shut down a .CN website to do infringement. If someone did registered a .CN domain name that corresponded with your trademark, it would only be a concern if the domain owner used the domain, and used it in a way that competed with your business/trademark.  And if they did so, you would likely have rights under the UDRP to file a complaint and seek a transfer of the domain name.

If you are actively doing business in China or have plans to do so, you of course may want to register the .cn domain corresponding to your trademark or your .com domain. But don’t respond to the email, and seek a different and legitimate channel for registering the .cn.

These scams have been circulating for years. But some unsuspecting recipients must fall prey to them (or they wouldn’t keep bothering to send them). If you have any questions about a similar email either consult an attorney, or do an internet search for a sentence from the letter and see if it pops up in scam alert websites – odds are it does.

3 Responses
  1. irish says:

    i have received one of these emails last week, the basic concept is the same but the scam webpage has changed.

    Dear Manager,

    (If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

    This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration in China and Asia. We received an application from Huasheng Ltd on July 22, 2013. They want to register ” MY WEB ADDRESS ” as their internet keyword and China/Asia/Hongkong (CN/ASIA/HK) domain names. But after checking it, we find this name conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?

    Best Regards,
    Jim
    General Manager
    Shanghai Office (Head Office)
    3002, Nanhai Building, No. 854 Nandan Road,
    Xuhui District, Shanghai 200070, China
    Tel: +86 216191 8696
    Mobile: +86 1870199 4951
    Fax: +86 216191 8697
    Web: http://www.cnygregistry.net

    My scammers have evolved one stage further …. i then got a follow up email from the company who was trying to poach my web address:

    From: jiang.zhifa@hotmail.com

    Dear Sirs,

    Our company based in chinese office, our company has submitted the “MY WEB ADDRESS ” as CN/Asia/Hk domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. Jim’s approval. We think this name is very important for our products in Chinese and Asian and Hongkong market. Even though Mr. Jim advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

    Best regards

    Jiang zhifa

    I have checked the above info and it all matches, even the web screen shot is the same (That web is no longer there)

    Run for the hills

  2. DavidL says:

    I get these scam messages every few months since my company’s domain name is a registered trademark. In any event I admit to spam baiting them as payback. I kept the last scammer on the hook for 2 weeks doing things like sending official quote as a PDF file; redoing it for 5 years; asking for a copy of the certificate they issue to protect the domain; telling them I need official documentation on company letterhead; and so on. They finally gave up.

  3. sa says:

    i have been getting the same letter over the past two months from the same company in china. Called my trademark attorney but never heard. I answered them big mistake, they sent me some form saying to pay this amount. Then another letter saying they have not heard from me. I looked up info and discovered it was a scam which i figured it was in the first place. I have since put them on my scam filter and spam folder and have not heard from since.