Register and host a web site in Taiwan? Not easy

Someone did raise this topic once before, but until now I hadn’t actually tried to register and host a web site in Taiwan. Now that I’ve had the experience, I’d say “probably not worth it.”

I fully intended to register a rather than a .com, but it seems that if you want to register a domain with a .tw on the end, you need to have a company registration number: 統一編號 Tǒngyī biānhào. It doesn’t seem to matter if your web site is commercial or just for personal use, Hinet and the other Taiwanese registers all demand it or you don’t get to register. Give it a try if you want:

The Hinet domain registry also doesn’t seem to allow any way to register a .com or .org or .net. They are strictly for .tw dispensations. Which is maybe just as well, since they charge NT$800/year (US$26.88) for registration, which is rather steep by world standards.

I did consider registering the domain in a foreign country and doing the actual hosting in Taiwan. I found one Linux-based web hosting service in Taiwan (Windows will cost you at least double) charging a reasonable NT$200/month for 80GB of traffic, which is more than I need:

However, registering in one place and hosting elsewhere is already a nuisance, made worse when the hosting service personnel barely speak English (and there is no English on their web site). Taiwan does not seem to be at all geared to capturing even a tiny share of the non-Taiwanese market for web hosting - rather odd for a country that wants to be known for its “hi-tech” economy.

I wound up going to Malaysia for the registration and hosting, using this service: Very cheap and so far, so good, though I’ve only been using it for a few days. Aside from price, English-speaking ability of the staff was a big consideration. Singapore was another possibility, but Malaysia was cheaper.


You don’t have to register a .tw domain through a local register. I’ve got a few domains registered via and I know they allow you to register .tw

I understand why some companies would want to register a .tw, but if you are not actually a local, registered Taiwan company, why on earth would you want to?

Even more so with hosting. Why the hell would anyone, particularly someone who requires English language interface and service?

After using many companies for 15 years, I’m more than happy with hostgator. It’s the best I’ve had so far on all counts: price, service, quality, reliability, interface and resources. And I’ve never felt a need to use a country-specific domain name: what’s the point in a global information economy?

I’m very curious about this.

Hi cfimages. Thanks for telling me about, however, a couple of points. First I see that they’re pretty expensive - for a they want EUR 28.30, or US$38 (compared to the US$15 I paid to But aside from that, did you actually register a .tw domain? I ask that because there is a list on the TWnic web site ( of places you can register a .tw domain. I tried the three at the bottom of the list which were in English, and all three gave me a message that I needed to contact them by email first to send my company registration number to them before I could register. The list of Taiwan registrars:

WebCC Ltd.(
IP Mirror(

So even though offers .tw domains, I’m not sure they won’t demand a business license before allowing you to proceed. As a test, I started the registration process but I stopped where they asked for my credit card - so I haven’t fully put this to the test but I’m curious if you did.


My wife wants me to create a web site for her. She is trying to start a business. She has zilch amount of Internet skills (with the exception of Facebook, which I know nothing about) and she doesn’t know what web hosting is, let alone a registry. Anyway, if you’re doing business in Taiwan, a .tw site is a fine idea and you’ll have a better chance of getting a url to your liking, plus hosting it locally should result in faster access speed.

I’ve been in Taiwan a long time, and every couple of years one of our local politicians starts blowing smoke about how Taiwan could/should be a “Regional Operations Center (ROC?)” like Hong Kong or Singapore. And indeed, Taiwan could be that, IF the level of English was higher. Part of being a ROC should mean good Internet services - thus Taiwanese companies could/should earn some cash by offering cheap web hosting to foreigners (as Malaysia does). But an English language interface would be necessary to make this business model work. However, it appears that the Taiwanese are clueless about this, and my reason for starting this thread was largely to lament the fact that Taiwan is just pissing away this opportunity.

It can be useful depending on what you want it for. Even AIT (American Institute in Taiwan, the unofficial US embassy) has a .tw website:

Hope my above answers made some sense.


I have successfully registered (there’s nothing there, don’t bother looking!) through Godaddy without being asked for a business license. I can’t really recommend Godaddy (crappy interface, lots of spam, dubious marketing and renewal tactics) but at least it’s possible.

If your wife wants it for her business, why not use her business number?

She hasn’t yet applied for it, but she will. She hates bureaucracy (I don’t blame her for that). However, pretty absurd that you need a business registration number to to apply for a personal web site.

She hasn’t yet applied for it, but she will. She hates bureaucracy (I don’t blame her for that). However, pretty absurd that you need a business registration number to to apply for a personal web site.[/quote]

But you don’t need it.

You do if you apply for registration with any of the 10 registries located in Taiwan. But yes, you can go abroad and pay a premium for a .tw domain. Most Taiwanese will not likely do that. Seems like the government is out to cripple Taiwan’s domestic web hosting business, and scare off foreigners too (like me - my money went to Malaysia when I would have rather given it to Taiwan).


I use a Taiwanese domain for e-mail (and i am hosting it in Taiwan). Why? Even in this age of globalisation many (most?) people seem to respond differently to phone numbers and net addresses that are related to their own locale as opposed to some far-away place abroad (for exactly that reason i use domains and phone numbers in different countries - if my customers don’t think globally, at least i can set myself up globally).

This thread started almost 10 years ago, at the “half-time” of the public internet (seen from today), and things have changed dramatically since: nowadays one can get both relatively inexpensive domain registration and webhosting services in Taiwan. In reference to a previous post here: although i have tried web hosting in Malaysia, as well, i have found the Taiwanese servers that i use to be faster (on average) when accessed from within Taiwan or Okinawa.

I agree with your logic, which is one reason why I intended originally to register and host in Taiwan. I was quite dumbfounded to find this major obstacle (required business registration number) was set up, presumably by the government. I’m sure that dramatically reduces the number of people who set up web sites in Taiwan. And the high price of registration is another obstacle.

Anyway, since you mentioned that you use a Taiwanese domain and hosting, do you have any recommendations about where to do that?

Sure: [strike]look at my info page (the link is in the sig) - somewhere in the text halfway down are the links for the Taiwanese registrar and one of the Taiwanese hosting services that i use myself[/strike]. I know that there are registrars with an English language interface that handle TW domains, but i chose the one i mention based on cost (i like to pay as little as possible for a domain name), absence of hassles (other than certain rules that have been mentioned), and because they are based in Taiwan.

EDIT: for details see later posts

About those rules: the rules as to what kind of TW domain one can use under what kind of circumstances are similar to those in Japan, and i find them pretty straight forward. In any case, the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, etc. also have rules (restrictions) concerning the use of certain top level domains - just because we’ve gotten used to the fact that “.com” or “.org” don’t mean anything in particular anymore, we shouldn’t overlook that thanks to certain rules domains like".gov", “.edu”, “”, “”, “”, and so on still have an understandable meaning. :slight_smile:

PS: since i have received some inquiries about this, i’ve added additional information.

[strike][/strike] (EDIT: that site is no more; send me a PM if needed)

In short: Registering and hosting a web site in Taiwan is not that difficult, and i can help you get across the langage barrier. :smiley:

Am using these two, one for small sites, one for large sites:

If you want to register a “.tw” domain you may find the following useful:

You don’t want to navigate a Mandarin interface? There are a few Taiwanese registrars with an English interface: (an domains costs NT$400 per year)
With this one i have no idea what their prices are because you have to register to get to get that information:

If a Mandarin interface is OK with you, these registrars may be of interest for certain reasons:
This one looks like the cheapest: (an domains costs NT$$299 per year)
Then there is one that accepts payment by credit card: (an domains costs NT$$450 per year) -
another thing that is important to me is that they let me manage all DNS settings myself (most people don’t need that)

Many registrars and hosting companies in Taiwan do not accept payment by credit card but need to be paid via convenience stores or bank transfer.
PayPal is also an option with some.

(I don’t use PayPal and am not always inTaiwan when a payment needs to be made, so i prefer services where i can pay with credit card. YMMV)

I believe we only needed a Taiwan ID card number to register on, though did get a .tw and not a, so not sure if this is the reason. Cost was NTD800/yr. using the DNS point it to my hostgator account.

Many registars are selling and .tw, like OVH, GoDaddy, but usually cost quite a lot (1099TWD as of today)

But then, very easy to purchase (CB accepted, interface in your own language probably, etc…)

[quote=“dudumomo”]Many registars are selling and .tw, like OVH, GoDaddy, but usually cost quite a lot (1099TWD as of today)

But then, very easy to purchase (CB accepted, interface in your own language probably, etc…)[/quote]

I wouldn’t use GoDaddy only because the company is a nasty patent troll. See this for an example.

But yes, there are numerous registrars outside of Taiwan that will allow you to register a * domain name without requiring a company registration number. At the moment, I have one * registered with in Malaysia. Cost is about NT$1100 per year, but you are only allowed a maximum 2-year registration at a time. I see that PCHome (along with all the other registrars in Taiwan) has raised their rates to NT$800 a year, so it is no longer a huge difference in price compared to registering abroad, but the big advantage is that they allow you to register the name for up to 10 years in one go.

Some more exploration on the PCHome web site revealed a chart which seems to indicate just who can register what. I did a screen capture of it, so without further ado:

If I’m interpreting this correctly, anyone can register a *.tw but a * requires that you have a company (and thus a company registration number) in Taiwan. But if you register it abroad (see the far right column in the chart labeled “international website”) that rule doesn’t apply. It seems that anybody can register a *.tw domain name in Taiwan. By the way, I can make no sense out of the second from right column “” - does anyone have a clue what that is?

[quote=“dudumomo”]Many registars are selling and .tw, like OVH, GoDaddy, but usually cost quite a lot (1099TWD as of today)
But then, very easy to purchase (CB accepted, interface in your own language probably, etc…)[/quote]
All correct. :thumbsup:
My comments are addressing the topic of this thread: it is nowadays reasonably easy to register a domain in Taiwan and to host a website in Taiwan. :sunglasses:
It’s also not expensive to do either. :slight_smile:

BTW, Malaysia is definitely worth a look if you are looking for reasonably fast connectivity, affordable service, English language interface, and English language support in a south-east Asian location. Singapore also has good things to offer.

They try to upsell you at every turn - no need to use them. There are plenty of straight registrars around.

They know: :wink:

Hmmm…have you actually tried it? I just did, and once again, flopped. I went first to PCHome to register a new site, and it just rejected my ARC number without explanation. OK, we foreigners are used to this sort of thing (ie bad programming that rejects ARC numbers), but as it turns out, it wasn’t bad programming. I say that because my next move was to try to register the site on SeedNet (which is owned by FarEasTone), and unlike PCHome actually lets you switch the menus to English. So what happened when I tried to register the domain name? I got this message:

Whatever the “operational cause” is, it would seem to be contagious since all the registrars in Taiwan have it. So I conclude that if I want to register a *.tw domain name, I’ll have to use my wife’s name, because non-ROC citizens can’t register a domain name online. And even using my wife’s name, I can’t register a * domain name unless I’ve got a business license. Yet I was able to register a * domain name in Malaysia, even though I am not a citizen or foreign resident of that country. Go figure.

Taiwan has for years been tooting its horn about becoming an “Asia-Pacific regional operations center.” I think this clearly shows that this grand plan is only half-baked at best.