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March 29, 2016 (Tue)

.la Means Fun in China


Baibu (百布) is part of the Internet+ trend in China to add Internet to traditional industries. The company provides a B2B platform for buyers and sellers in the textile industry.

My interest in this news story is the domain name used by this company. Baibu uses a non .com domain name: Baibu.la. Some readers may recognize .la as the country extension for Laos. Some domain professionals in the US have tried to rebrand .la to mean Los Angeles. In China, it has taken on a new meaning.

When pronounced in Chinese .la rhymes with the Chinese character 啦 (which has no meaning but indicates emotion -- often happiness). Similar use of this extension can be found in names such as Game.la (游戏啦) and Beat.la (打败啦).

The company has just received Series A+ funding, showing its potential to become a big player. But, they don't have Baibu.com, which they must acquire if they want to be big.

On a side note, Baibu sounds very similar to Baidu the search giant in China. So, Baidu may not be very happy with this new startup.