Coreile

Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

The other day a reader asked me about the name "Coreile." Actually it has no meaning. The name is short and I like the sound of it. I registered it for less than $10, which gives me a voice on the global arena thanks to the .com extension. I look legitimate even though I'm just a one-man-band. This shows you we are still in the early stage of the internet. Soon, all short names will be gone and it will be expensive to start your digital venture. Here's the post.

July 18, 2016 (Mon)

I dream of a domain world in China


I wake up in the morning. It may be 2030 and life is full of ads. Whatever I try to find, search engines always return ad-sponsored links to waste my time. Then, I discover the beauty of going direct without depending on the kindness of strangers along the way.

By now, Alibaba has become an integral part of our daily lives. I start my day by checking Alibaba news at Alibaba.news. Because China is my major interest, Alibaba.cn is my next stop. The site mentions a new health app, so I jump to Alibaba.app to download it.

I also notice there's an advertising campaign with lucky draw at 阿里巴巴.我爱你 (Alibaba.ILoveYou). I go to the site, write a short essay about how much I love Alibaba, and then enter the draw. Bingo! a free mobile phone is waiting for me at 阿里巴巴.手机 (Alibaba.MobilePhone). During the day, I still need to find out various things about Alibaba. If I don't know the keyword, I just default to Alibaba.com. Now, finding digital things has become very easy, thanks to Alibaba and their organized domain world!

Well, it's only a dream, and I chose Alibaba only because it's a Chinese brand most people recognize. What I do see here is a hierarchy of domain names to help us find relevant information of a company in the shortest time -- which is critical for the impatient consumers in today's society.

Sitting at the top of the hierarchy is .com, which is global and contains everything about a company. The next level is country extensions. A domain domain on .cn, for example, is necessary so that a website can be built in China meeting the local laws and regulations. Finally, the third level consists of all other extensions such as .news, .app, and .手机. These extensions are mostly labels with no contents. They are used in marketing to direct consumers to various pages of .com or country extensions. See the following table.

LevelNatureContentExample
TopGlobalYesAlibaba.com (core)
2ndCountryYesAlibaba.cn, Alibaba.jp, Alibaba.ru
3rdGeneralNoAlibaba.news, Alibaba.club, 阿里巴巴.我爱你

In this approach, the focus is always the brand (the first part in a domain name), which is the anchor and so does not change. Chinese consumers only need to remember the brand; guessing the extension part is easy because by default they already know .com and .cn. This design is semantically correct; in both English as well as Chinese, we go from the general to the specific, and from the left to the right.

I must admit this is only a wild dream, and I have no idea how this domain world will turn out. It's meant to stimulate our thinking so that each of us can formulate his or her own domain strategy. Of course, not everyone needs this elaborate system. A small construction company in Pecos, Texas, for example, will be better off using Pecos.builders than a long .com name.