Ok. This is wierd. Although it is late very late at night here in Lahore, but this all can not be just ‘that time of the night’. This is the Net. This is global stuff. Ok, here’s what I have seen in the last 10 minutes or so:
- A post on a new startup at TechCrunch caught my eye as odd, given that the startup was/is named Zong.
- Now, for the uninitiated, Zong to us Pakistanis is not what TechCrunch claimed it to be; a hot-shot mobile-payment-something-something.
- To us, Zong is the mobile company that spends a lot of money to occupy the airtime of the gazillion channels that invade our TVs everyday. Here in Pakistan, Zong is a mobile phone company selling sim cards and investing millions and millions on infrastrucutre. Zong is owned by CMPAK, a chinese company)
- Curious as to how the Zong.com domain was taken by this new startup as compared to the older Pakistani Zong, I clicked on the link for Zong at TechCrunch.
- And viola! The domain zong.com took me to none other than … drum roll please … The wikipedia entry on the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- What the? I typed in the address this time. Again, Wiki page. Pakistan.
- I searched for zong on Google. The search results were as if nothing has happened. Zong.com was pointing to the mobile-payment-something-something. Clicking on it at the Google search results, I was taken again to Wiki’s Pakistan page.
- Google also told me that there is a blog for Zong.com (the startup) at http://blog.zong.com. That blog is up and running and reports nothing of this sort. (their latest entry is not even 24 hours old).
- So, recapping all that happened in less than 10 minutes, I say again, “What the?”
This seems, in all probabilities, a hijack of the domain zong.com. And the fact that it takes you to the Pakistan’s wiki page is all the more interesting, given that the other Zong is based firmly in Pakistan.
And no one has seemed to notice it. This has recently happened. Not more than a few hours ago. There is nothing on TechCrunch’s post about Zong. And there is nothing about this hijack at Zong’s blog’s latest post.
Folks, any clues?
The plot thickens: finding the Pakistani Zong’s website to be quite impressive, I tried to go to the website of the firm that made the website. eConception. At http://www.eConception.net. And it is a dead website. Searched for it on Google, with some interesting search results.