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Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

We finally met. The two exchange students I've been mentoring via Skype for the last two months travelled a long distance to visit us, so we organized a dinner for them and also invited three local friends. We rolled our own sushi, enjoyed the dinner, played games, and shared views on our cultural differences. I always feel each gathering is a special moment that will never be repeated, so treasure your friends. Here's the post.

August 29, 2016 (Mon)

A domain name registered in 2015 is making wave in China


May 13, 2015 must be a lucky day for Mr. Hai Sheng WU (吴海生). Not only could he register Nicaifu.com, but he also secured both Nicaifu.cn and Nicaifu.net for brand protection. All together, he probably spent less than $50 for these three domain names, which he was going to use to launch his financial enterprise.

Wu was a director in the NYSE-listed Qihu 360 group. Early last year, he noticed there was a sudden spike in advertising by financial institutions on their website. So, he visited all major financial websites and was surprised to see that they all had a problem: They were basically traditional financial services moved to the internet without any real understanding of customer data.

Wu saw an opportunity and knew he could offer superior financial services by leveraging big data analysis. He named the startup 360 Nicaifu (360你财富= your wealth in all aspects) and proceeded to acquire the matching domain names. You can imagine how excited he was to find all of them were available at registration fees.

Is Nicaifu.com so poor in quality that thousands of domain investors failed to register it? Definitely not! Nicaifu is 3-pin but has only 7 characters. The name is short, meaningful, and easy to remember. Just look at the power of this domain name. Its website was launched in August, 2015 but within one year trading on Nicafu.com has already exceeded $7.5b (50b yuan) with 6m customers. The website provides a safe environment for users to use banking services and to invest in mutual funds, stock, and previous metals.

What can we learn from this story? It shows that with creativity it is still possible to acquire a quality .com domain name for about $10 and launch a billion dollar global business.