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Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

The dragon city was good to me because it lifted me out of poverty, and the educational system was my launch pad. I remember that I started my junior high at a school which occupied just one floor of a multi-storied building. By the time I reached senior high, I was enjoying a large and leafy campus complete with tennis courts, dormitories, and a large assembly hall. The school might have even owned the neighboring cemetery and a beach at one time. A good school led to a top college, and eventually the chance to live in many countries. Long live the dragon city! Here's the post.

October 7, 2016 (Fri)

360 in Chinese domain names implies full service


I often come across the phrase Quan Fang Wei Fu Wu (全方位服务) which many Chinese companies use to describe their services. This phrase means to provide 'full service' to the satisfaction of customers. Many companies go even one step further. They use domain names containing 360 to build their official websites, showing how dedicated they are to making their customers happy.

Entering the number 360 into Baidu search returns more than 100 million results, showing how popular this number is. The first one in the search result is 360.cn. The first few pages show domain names using 360 used as prefix are more popular than those using 360 as suffix. Here are some examples.

360.com and 360.cn are both owned by Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security company listed on New York Stock Exchange. The company is known for its antivirus software, browser, and mobile app store. This billion dollar internet firm spent $17m to acquire 360.com last year but 360.cn remains as its official website in China.

360kan.com is a video platform, providing a large collection of movies, TV dramas, and videos. You can also download a mobile app to your mobile phone for even better viewing experience. This website is also owned by Qihoo 360. The word "kan" may be the Pinyin word for 看 (see), so the domain name is appropriate for the services.

360zhibo.com offers live broadcasts of soccer games in China and around the world, as well as NBA (National Basketball Association) tournaments. The domain name matches the name of the service (360 直播 = live broadcast).

Rong360.com. Rong means financing, so it is no surprise to see the website offering financial services such as house mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and personal loans. The domain name matches the name of the company (融360 = Rong 360).

While 360-themed domain names are popular in China, their problem is that they don't carry the prestige or credibility that 360.com and 360.cn have. The best example to illustrate my point is 360buy.com. This domain name was used by the Nasdaq-listed online retailer Jing Dong in 2007. The company realized the problem and finally in 2013 upgraded the domain name to JD.com, which is the acronym for the company's name. The company spent about $5m in this acquisition.

So, while you can easily create a domain name containing the number 360 -- and its meaning is good -- you cannot avoid the issue of prestige and credibility in this type of domain names.