Coreile

Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

I used to think I was smart because I managed to rise up to the top of the education system through studying hard. My confidence was further reinforced when I received a scholarship to study in America. Some time after I left school, it suddenly dawned on me that I had spent years at school but learned very little. It was because I only studied for academic qualification but not for my own education. Only then did I start to study for myself. How about you? Here's the post.

December 21, 2016 (Wed)

Is .com king in the Chinese domain market?


Is .com really king in China? Specifically, what does it mean to be king? In this blog post, I'll study data provided by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the administrative agency responsible for internet affairs under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China. CNNIC conducts surveys on the internet and domain name usage, and publishes the "Statistical Report on Internet Development in China" in January every year. (You can find the reports at http://cnnic.com.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads.)

First, look at the following table of domain names registered for each extension. It indicates there is a total of 31 million domain names in China: .cn having 16m and .com 11m. .net and .org are not significant. Note that in the early days there were more .com than .cn domain names. Also, there were dips in 2010 and 2011 caused by new regulation imposed by the Chinese government on the .cn extension.

PublishedcncomnetorgAll
2006.11,096,9241,202,497216,53376,4562,592,410
2007.11,803,3931,939,343299,10867,1764,109,020
2008.19,002,0002,436,000397,00096,00011,931,000
2009.113,572,3262,739,130419,22093,91316,826,198
2010.113,459,1332,783,652438,662136,95416,820,000
2011.14,349,5243,713,244488,478105,2798,660,000
2012.13,644,1473,528,511467,939107,8627,750,000
2013.17,507,7594,834,690629,154145,41413,410,000
2014.110,829,4806,311,480743,996164,47618,440,611
2015.111,089,2317,949,939910,031232,61420,600,000
2016.116,363,59410,997,9411,415,001397,97031,020,514

The next table show major players in the domain market. .cn captures over 50% of the market and .com has more than 30%. Together they account for about 90% of the Chinese domain market. Therefore, if you want to invest in China, your major focus may be .cn and .com.

The table also suggests that the market is still in its high-growth period. Since the total number of domain names relative to the Chinese population is still very small, and many positive factors are in play (such as supportive government policies, consumer affinity to internet, internet startup boom, and easy VC financing), we can expect the high growth to continue for a while.

Publishedcn(share)com(share)cn(growth)com(growth)
2006.142%46%--
2007.144%47%39%38%
2008.175%20%80%20%
2009.181%16%34%11%
2010.180%17%-1%2%
2011.150%43%-209%25%
2012.147%46%-19%-5%
2013.156%36%51%27%
2014.159%34%31%23%
2015.154%39%2%21%
2016.153%35%32%28%

So, what's the conclusion?

By volume, .cn is clearly king, and this trend will likely continue. However, in terms of prices, I must say .com is still king. The highest .com prices achieved in China every year is proof to the unshakable status of .com.

In short, .cn is king by volume and .com is king by value.