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Chinese Domain Market Newsletter
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One day few years ago I happened to talk to the Indian owner of a small shop where I was shopping. He started the business with little money and the whole family lived in a small unit behind the shop. Over the years he made some profit, saved it, bought a small property, renovated it, sold it for a profit, then repeated. At the time I was talking to him, he already owned five properties. His story tells us there is no secret in financial success. It requires hard work, good saving habit, careful investment, and most importantly—patience. Here's the post.

August 3, 2016 (Wed)

China joins the .club…


When I was growing up in the dragon city, the word "club" meant to me a place where only the rich and powerful people mingled. Of course, now I know anyone can form a little club and share a common interest. I often read in Chinese domain news about the .club registry actively promoting their extension. After I wrote the July 26 post, I thought why not ask the man who has been "on the ground" to tell us what they have been doing in China. Below is the article written by Jeff Sass in its entirety. (I don't get paid for publishing his article.)

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By Jeff Sass, CMO, .CLUB Domains, LLC.

China is a big country, and launching a business there as a Westerner is a big job. However, China represents enormous opportunity and growth for the Domain Industry, so as a registry, we acknowledged the importance of the Chinese market early on. Our interest in China was further fueled by the knowledge that the word “Club” is widely recognized and used in China. This was confirmed with much excitement when the .CLUB team made our first trip to China in January 2014. On the way to our hotel we saw a sign on the side of a building, in beautiful raised gold letters. The sign had a series of Chinese characters, followed by the word CLUB in English. Cool!

That first trip was before we had even launched .CLUB, but we were planting seeds. Meeting with registrars and sharing our vision and plans, and most of all learning. Since then, as a Company, we’ve been back to China more than a dozen times. We’ve established strong working relationships with our registrar partners in China, we’ve set up our own business entity (a WFOE) and we have, nearly a year ago, submitted our application to the MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) to receive our license from them.

Today we have over 400,000 registrations in China. We participate actively in social media through our Weibo and WeChat accounts, as well as a Chinese language Facebook account and website. We run China-specific promotions and PR and have Mandarin speaking employees on our team. Our mascot in China, the clever monkey “Hou Mi Mi,” makes live appearances and appears in comic strips and comic books. As our CEO Colin Campbell likes to say, we’re “All-in in China.”

The market in China for .CLUB names thus far has been largely driven by the dynamic domain investor community, and we have worked hard to serve them and work with them to create a vibrant aftermarket for .CLUB premium names at all price ranges. Even names like Sina.club and Weibo.club were bought by the brand. We think domain investors also appreciate that the active premium market for .CLUB is not just in China, but all around the world, increasing both value and liquidity. .CLUB is very much a domain with true global reach.

We’ve had a number of great auctions in China (and the next one will be on the SEDO platform September 9-16, with 28 high value two character names as well as i.club and 777.club). We will also be releasing our Chinese IDN names September 6th at 10pm Beijing time. We’ve seen values go up and many investors already enjoying very profitable returns on their investment in .CLUB. But this is only the beginning.

As we’ve seen around the world, .CLUB domains are widely used for active websites by businesses and individuals. There are already many developed Chinese language .CLUB sites such as WangQ.club, Jay2U.club and many more. We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for .CLUB in China. We will soon get our government license allowing .CLUB websites to be developed and hosted in mainland China. Then all those businessess with CLUB already in their names will be able to use a .CLUB name for their websites. We are eager to market and promote .CLUB to the many small businesses, entrepreneurs and passionate individuals in China who will be able to use a .CLUB domain, creating even more value for our early investor registrants.

Our next visit will be for DomainFest Asia, followed by a trip to the mainland. We look forward to seeing you there, Kassey!

世界是由一个个大小不一的Clubs组成,而中国,将是世界俱乐部的中心!

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My takeaway from Jeff's post are: (1) Visit the market frequently to understand it and to forge relationship with local partners. (2) Adapt to the Chinese culture—for example, by using Weibo instead of Twitter for promotion. (3) Work with (not against) the domaining community. (4) Focus—thus giving their extension a better chance to succeed.