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May 27, 2016 (Fri)

Chinese companies love short domain names


A reader raised a good point on car-related Chinese domain names. He (or she) said that 汽车 (Qiche=gas-driven car) is better than 车 (Che=car) because the former gets about 3 times of daily searches on Baidu than the latter.

That's interesting. Does it also imply QiChe.com would be better and so more valuable than Che.com? (This also reminds me of a discussion some time ago on the Internet about whether PianoLesson.com is better than Piano.com. )

I did some searches using Baidu news and found the following recent sales of car-related domain names.

Che.com (22m CNY, 2016)
QiChe.com (13m, 2015)
CheYou.com (车友=car fan, 16m, 2015)
Haoche.com (好车=good car, 10m, 2015)
PaoChe.com (跑车=sports car, 1m, 2016)

The shorter 1-pin Che.com was sold for much more than the price of the 2-pin QiChe.com. This leads to my speculation that Chinese companies want to go for the shortest possible domain names, and 1-pin .com names are considered the best of the best. Chinese companies are willing to pay a fortune for such prestige.

Two examples are still fresh in my mind.

乐视 (Le TV) is the largest online video company in China. They used to operate their corporate site on LeTV.com, which is a perfect match for the company name. Nonetheless, they bought Le.com last year for reportedly 10m USD and became the talk of the town when they upgraded their corporate site to Le.com early this year.

京东 (Jing Dong) is famous for their Jingdong Mall. They own JingDong.com but their corporate website is JD.com which they acquired in 2012 for about 5m USD.

So, it seems to me that Chinese companies prefer short domain names on .com.