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August 26, 2017 (Sat)

Do you need to own Chinese domain names?


Image courtesy of Commons.wikimedia.org


A large number of Chinese domain extensions have been released in the last few years, and you may have already come across some of them by chance. You may even wonder if you should acquire some Chinese domain names for your business. Today let's look at this issue.

First of all, what is a Chinese domain name? Here I am referring to a domain name where both the name and the extension consist of Chinese characters only. An example is 迪士尼.中国 (Disney.China). I do not include domain names mixing Chinese name with an English extension such as 中文.com. The reason is that while these mixed character domain names do exist, I have never come across any of them in my news reading exercise. I guess their numbers must be very small to be worth studying.

Let's look at the registration numbers first.

ExtensionDomain Names
.中国 (China)474,000
.网址 (web address)206,000
.信息 (info)72,000
.公司 (company)48,000
.网络 (network)32,000
.手机 (mobile phone)31,000
.在线 (online)31,000
.我爱你 (I love you)15,000
.中文网 (Chinese web)12,000
.商标 (trademark)9,000
.商城 (mall)6,000
.世界 (world)5,000
.移动 (mobile)4,000
.网店 (web shop)4,000
.com14,345,000
.cn20,601,000

Extensions with less than 1,000 domain names registered are: .网站 (website) .集团 (corporate group) .商店 (shop) .机构 (org) .游戏 (game) .企业 (enterprise) .广东 (Guangdong Province) .娱乐 (entertainment) .佛山 (Foshan City) .八卦 (gossip) .書籍 (book) .食品 (food) and .健康 (health)

The result speaks for itself. There are very few Chinese domain names registered, and many extensions have less than 1k registrations. Contrast them with .com and .cn. Both have registrations exceeding 10,000k in China. With so few Chinese domain names registered, the average consumer may not even know their existence. Therefore, they do not have much value currently for business application.

However, the internet is rapidly changing. What's impossible today may become a norm for consumers tomorrow. Therefore, you need to study these Chinese domain extensions and register some names relevant to your business to protect your future needs. I think the biggest use of Chinese domain names in the future may be in advertising and promotion. The advantage of Chinese domain names is that they convey messages directly in the Chinese language. For example, look at the domain name 母亲.我爱你 (mother.iloveyou). If you use it to promote products for Mother's Day, consumers can understand the message immediately.

Finally, when planning domain names, you can take a hint from Amazon.
  • For global market, use English brand matching .com (Amazon.com)
  • For Chinese market, use Chinese brand matching .cn (Yamaxun.cn)
  • For future use, secure Chinese domain names (亚马逊.中国, 亚马逊.世界, 亚马逊.信息, 亚马逊.公司, 亚马逊.在线, 亚马逊.我爱你,亚马逊.中文网, 亚马逊.网店 etc)
  • Secure relevant domain names (e.g. Yamaxun.com, Amazon.cn)

Reference: (1) 39th China Statistical Report on Internet Development by CNNIC (2) Namestat.org

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Note: This post is based on one of my Chinese articles written with a China-centric perspective.