2ch Now Owned by Mysterious Singaporean Company

hiroyuki-gravure.jpg

Hiroyuki Nishimura (pictured), 2channel founder, NicoNico Douga CEO and gravure idol, has transferred the world’s largest forum 2ch to an unknown Singaporean company, in a move which has taken observers largely by surprise.

The (public) background to this is that as an anonymous board, 2ch is frequently used to make actionable comments, and the desperate trail of lawyers hunting for someone to sue has long been an impediment to the site’s management, even if Hiroyuki is notorious for ignoring them.

This is thought to be part of the reason why Hiroyuki recently announced on his blog that the site has been completely transferred, taking effect on the 1st of January.

Now it would appear that 2ch has no formal connection to Japan at all, despite being its largest forum.

The company to which 2ch has been transferred, Packet Monster Inc, is completely unknown, and in fact is likely merely a shell or holding company for taxation and litigation minimisation.

The whois details are as follows:

Before:

Registrant:
Monsters Inc
#602, 5-12-5
Shinjyuku
Shinjyuku-ku
Tokyo, TK 160-0022
JP

Domain name: 2CH.NET

Administrative Contact:
Nishimura, Hiroyuki
#602, 5-12-5
Shinjyuku
Shinjyuku-ku
Tokyo, TK 160-0022
JP
020-4622-8073 Fax: 020-4622-8073

Technical Contact:
Watkins, Jim
9629 Evergreen Way suite 202C
Everett, WA 98204
US
425-353-7103 Fax: 425-353-5962

After:

Registrant:
PACKET MONSTER INC. PTE. LTD.
TELOK AYER STREET
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE 068589
SG

Domain name: 2CH.NET

Administrative Contact:
DHANVANTRAY, RAGINI packetmonsterch2div@2ch.net
TELOK AYER STREET
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE 068589
SG
+1.4165551212

Technical Contact:
Watkins, Jim dns@nttsupport.com
9629 Evergreen Way suite 202C
Everett, WA 98204
US
425-353-7103 Fax: 425-353-5962

A spot of searching reveals the lady listed in the contact details to be the CEO of a Singaporean company called Rikvin, specialising in Singapore-based offshore company formations.

With no particular connection to the business of managing web sites, we can speculate reasonably that the management continues to reside with Hiroyuki, and this move is thus entirely driven by tax or legal incentives.

The servers themselves have long been internationally hosted, chiefly for legal reasons, so from this perspective there should be no change.

Aside from the issue of the unknown company, Hiroyuki himself, and subsequent mass media reports, all refer to a complete “transfer” of the site’s ownership to Packet Monster – clearly a huge site like 2ch, which is thought to have millions of dollars of revenue, is unlikely to have just been given away, so unless a secret sale was involved it looks as though Hiroyuki will be retaining an interest.

An issue we do not see given any consideration is that of the less than free speech enjoyed in Singapore – presumably with an offshore Internet concern this is not an issue, as we might not expect a site like 2ch to last long were it a domestic Singaporean site.

Hiroyuki himself remains deeply involved in losing millions of dollars monthly at NicoNico Douga, whilst dreaming about global expansion, so it seems likely shedding some of the burden the management of 2ch involved will be useful to him.

Given that no significant improvements have been made to the awkward, if not obsolescent, 2ch site itself in many years, any innovation or change on this front seems unlikely.

The online reaction to this has been very mixed, with most not really understanding the move, though the more extreme responses such as “He’s abandoning Japan!” are quite unreasonable.

In fact, many ostensibly Japan based major websites are incorporated and hosted overseas, most notably the massive free blog host FC2, the second most frequently visited domain in Japan, second only to Yahoo.co.jp. In this case, the company is actually incorporated in Nevada under the name of an American, and the management resides in Los Angeles.

Whilst this move is being painted by many, not least Hiroyuki, as a case of avoiding the oppressive Japanese courts, we must wonder at the significant tax advantages he will now enjoy…


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    61 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    00:17 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Packet Monster Inc" seems like the name of a phantom company. tomorrow NicoNico Douga will be acquired by "Faux Enterprises" xD

    Avatar of shockerz
    Comment by Tommy
    00:36 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still don't know the real reason on this moves

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    01:22 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hiroyuki uses tax evasion...
    Japanese law missed!
    ---
    Japanese law uses taxation...
    But it failed!

    >:P

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Nobody could be blamed for not wanting to fund a bunch of old people who voted themselves a pyramid scheme welfare state...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:34 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like your politics
    but the question is, isnt all saving for old age positioning ourselves to enslave the next generation.
    Whether by saving more money yourself, or national power structure.
    And given that the wealth of japan vs say indonesia was built by these people, dont they deserve it?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    A contributions based pension system lacks this problem as people are actually using up the very money they saved whilst working, rather than assigning future tax revenues to pensions, irrespective of what happens in the future (declining birthrates and increasing lifespans).

    Does each of these old Japanese (or anyone else in one of the many countries with this problem) "deserve" to be able to force two working people to surrender the better part of their income so they can spend it on frivolity? What will happen to the wealth of the nation when whole generations are forced into this arrangement?

    Comment by heavyoak
    03:00 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    http://www.2chan.net/

    it doesn't look any different.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why would it look different? Also 2ch is not 2chan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:45 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Forget it.I don’t really care much through.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:39 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What does this have to do with singapore and why must it always be Singapore?

    Comment by dodgethis
    23:32 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    First 2ch! Tomorrow, NICO NICO! BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:06 07/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    watch what you say about Singapore if you have never lived there. don't talk about what you don't understand. theres probably no significance to the fact that its a Singaporean company owning 2ch. its likely any other foreign company would have suited Nishimura's purpose as stated by the article.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:37 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If the site was moved because of libel suits, that's just plain stupid. Singapore has one of the strictest libel wars in the world. 2ch wouldn't last long (or the company to that effect) if the suits were ever transferred to Singapore.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:02 13/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    see so many ignorant fools around here...

    Avatar of StrayWolf
    Comment by xxstraywolfxx
    00:39 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And something of value is lost

    Comment by trebors
    15:13 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no, why singapore :(
    2ch RIP

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:41 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmmmm, the address given is not complete, thus you can't find the actual location of the company. It only has the postal code which simply tells you the area the location is.

    On a lighter note, (as Chow Yun Fatt says,)

    Welcome to Singapore.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:05 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Singapore is a small country--postal codes usually pinpoint the exact block, if not the exact building. It's not hard to search from there, as kilvear did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:35 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This country sucks to not welcome people to it.There is two version of 2ch and 2chan well maybe I misunderstand it so it looks like it doesn't need my concern after all.

    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi
    12:11 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know who's behind this... Moot!

    Comment by TerrawindX2
    12:54 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What, he's not satisfied with 4chan? XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:09 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That company building was pathetic.Why the hell would the founder give up the host and let some patheic bootleg company run it in his place and how they manage to contact one another in the first place and why would the founder trust them and do this?I really do not understand.

    Comment by TerrawindX2
    22:24 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think he's trying to wash his hands off and let Singapore take the blame for all the lawsuits against him.

    Lawsuits does transfer from owner to owner.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    He's likely still in complete control - read the article.

    The company in question specialises in helping international companies create offshore entities in Singapore to reduce their tax and regulatory burden - read the article.

    Probably this company is just a few lawyers processing the paperwork and allowing their names to be used as nominees.

    Avatar of lerrymaru
    Comment by maru
    19:46 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pokemon Inc. Goodbye to the old 2ch.. T^T

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    19:46 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    oh great, now the internet was owned by non other than the notorious fine-happy Singapore . . . . . .

    T^T I will miss you 2chan T^T (I think train man is from 2chan too . . . maybe?)

    I hope the Sinapore company can still keep the site to it par before it was transfered though . . .

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:12 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's 2ch, not 2chan. Learn the difference.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    19:50 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tax incentives lulz

    money - tax = swimming in money

    Comment by イチロ イノ (Ichiro Ino)
    20:17 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes indeed..
    tax evasion is a common thing here

    the internets has no tax here.

    here mainly the internets is for
    friendster
    yahoo messenger
    youtube
    free cheaply made MMORPGs
    and pr0n

    Avatar of basilio
    Comment by basilio
    00:35 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    hehehe I like the last usage

    Comment by Anon
    19:52 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guys, this is more than likely a way to get potential lawsuits out as they are now beyond the boundaries of Japanese law, like how the article says.

    Stop commenting as though 2ch is dead.

    A few famous Singaporean websites are hosted offshore too, for obvious reasons

    Comment by -
    20:00 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    examples of those website?Anything that involve this country company I hate it.

    Comment by -
    19:51 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who the hell is this company anyway?I live at here but never heard of it the starting of a bad year.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:44 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >and gravure idol

    It's too bad that I have far too large of an imagination, because my mind was most violently fucked reading this part.

    Comment by イチロ イノ (Ichiro Ino)
    19:37 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If he wanted more lax laws about the Internets, Philippines is a good candidate.. considering rampant p2p/torrent usage here and there's almost no law about adult content in the internets.

    ask people here if what is loli, they will say "is that a candy(lolipop)"

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    19:51 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    BWAHAHAHA!

    indeed kind sir XDDD

    Comment by digitalboy
    18:35 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the implications of that DVD marked 'oba-chan' are beyond hilarious. But this move is pretty lolwut.

    Comment by ETERNAL
    23:52 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh god I wish you hadn't made me notice that... >_<

    Comment by Ahinigami
    18:25 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol , why must he be naked?

    Comment by TerrawindX2
    18:48 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Since when was the internet ever owned by anyone?

    Comment by TerrawindX2
    18:52 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And of all places, Singapore has to own them? The land where law is everything and sense is nothing?

    Goodbye 2ch. You will be forever missed.

    Wasn't Train Man from 2ch?

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by iapfah
    19:12 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pretty much everything on here is from 2ch.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    20:04 02/01/2009 # ! Astronomical

    Not the case at all.

    Comment by wut
    23:01 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because the rest of the stuff is from 2chan~

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    What?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:33 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And nothing of value is lost

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:06 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No.They are not owning it they are just hosting it.I wish to go there and thrash all the companies that are involved in anime.I never been there myself through.

    Comment by Edward
    20:53 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=TELOK+AYER+STREET+SINGAPORE,+SINGAPORE+068589&sll=1.352083,103.819836&sspn=0.665857,0.884399&g=Singapore&ie=UTF8&ll=1.281217,103.848782&spn=0.010404,0.013819&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=TELOK AYER STREET SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE 068589&sll=1.352083,103.819836&sspn=0.665857,0.884399&g=Singapore&ie=UTF8&ll=1.281217,103.848782&spn=0.010404,0.013819&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr]

    Here's what the building looks like, of the company who owns 2ch now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:20 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't really care much through.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:33 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sounds like the transfer was made to some bootleg company... <_<

    Comment by flip
    22:01 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    HAHA i wtf'd out loud to the picture. Of course thats the 2ch founder. Gravure idol thats awesome




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