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Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

For those of you whose native language is not English, what is the first English sentence you learned? Mine is "This is a pen. This is a man. This is a man and a pen." When I was in high school, I became interested in English. Every week I would buy just one copy of South China Morning Post. I read a small part of it every day during the week, picked up some interesting words and phrases, then wrote them down on small cards. During the 1-hour ferry ride to school, I would sit in front of the engine room of the ferry and practiced by creating 10 sentences for each of the cards. Looking back, I'm happy that I made that effort. Here's the post.

May 30, 2016 (Mon)

Is your domain name in their upgrade path?


It's common to see companies in China upgrade their domain names. There can be many reasons, such as better name, prestige, publicity, expanded business line, and going global.

.com is king in China's corporate world. We often see companies shortening their .com names. A good case is China-sss.com, which is an inferior name for the domestic airline 春秋航空 (Chun Qiu Hang Kong). The company changed the name to the prestigious CH.com, which is an exact match for its trading name (春航=Chun Hang).

Other examples of upgrading to shorter .com names include HDB.com (from HuDongBa.com) and 37.com (from 37wan.com).

For companies using .cn names, they like to upgrade to .com if they can afford. For example, 亿童 (Yi Tong) moved up from Allkids.com.cn to Yitong.com last year and 上海云盾 (Shang Hai Yun Dun) from Yundun.cn to Yundun.com early this year.

If they can't afford, they may go from a long .com to a short .cn. For example, Yaya888.com changed to Yaya.cn and Readnovel.com to XS.cn (XS =小说=Xiao Shuo=novel).

For companies owning a 3-pin or 4-pin domain name, they also like to upgrade to an acronym name.

For example, 猪八戒 (Zhu Ba Jie ) is a marketplace for logo design and other digital services. Its corporate site was ZhuBaJie.com. As a 3-pin .com exactly matching the company name, the domain name is perfectly fine. However, the company chose to upgrade to ZBJ.com early this year. It's reported that traffic to the new site soared immediately.

Another example is 九信金融 (Jiu Xin Jin Rong) which upgraded from JiuXinFinance.com to JXJR.com.

Even a short .com domain name may go even shorter. When it happens, the company gets a lot of free publicity and also creates a sense of prestige. The most well-known example is LeTV.com upgrading to Le.com last year. LeTV.com has only four letters so is already very short. But, the company spent more than 10m USD last year to acquire the Le.com, which became the talk of the town.

If you own a domain name sitting in the path of a likely upgrade, then the domain name will be very valuable. How do you find out? Research is one of the ways.