Coreile

Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

The other day I saw an interesting series of pictures taken by a photographer. Starting in 1976, he took a picture of his wife and her three sisters every year. The last one was taken in 2011. When you look at the pictures, you can see them change from beautiful young girls to wrinkled old women over the years. This reminds me that we need to use our time wisely. It also reminds me of an old song: Those were the days my friend. We thought they'd never end. We'd sing and dance forever and a day. We'd live the life we choose. We'd fight and never lose. For we were young and sure to have our way.

January 4, 2017 (Wed)

How Chinese companies upgrade their domain names


While doing a research on domain names sold to China recently, I noticed that many of them were acquired for the purpose of domain upgrade by Chinese companies. In this post, I have selected some of the most expensive domain names bought by them in recent years, and see if we can learn something from their experiences.

First, look at the following table of some Chinese companies, their domain upgrade path, and the prices they paid in US dollars.

CompanyUpgradePrice
Qihoo 360 (奇虎360)360Safe.com -> 360.cn -> 360.com$17m
Le TV (乐视)LeTV.com -> Le.com$10m
Jing Dong (京东)JingDong.com -> JD.com$5m
Wan Jia Huan Gou(万嘉欢购)WJHGW.com -> HG.com$3.8m
Xiao Mi (小米)XiaoMi.com -> Mi.com$3.6m
Wo Wo Tuan (窝窝团)55tuan.com -> 55.com$3m
VivoVivoGlobal.com -> Vivo.com$2.1m
Wei Pin Kuai (唯品会)VIPshop.com -> VIP.com$2m
37 Wan (37玩)37Wan.com -> 37.com$1.96m
Lu Ji Suo (陆金所)Lufax.com -> Lu.com$1.5m - $14m
Tong Cheng Lv You (同程旅游)17u.com -> LY.com$1.5m (?)
Piao Ju Bao (票据宝)ZGPJB.com -> PJ.comUnknown

Here are some obervations.

1.
Chinese companies like to upgrade to short .com names.

2.
Companies may upgrade by getting rid of non-essential words. For example: 360Safe to 360, VivoGlobal to Vivo, and Lufax to Lu.

4.
Companies may upgrade for prestige. For example, LeTV.com is already short and brand matching, but the company still spent $10m to upgrade to Le.com. The new name generated a lot of free publicity, though.

5.
Companies like to upgrade from a Pinyin name to its abbreviation. For example, JingDong.com already matches the brand but it was upgraded to JD.com.

6.
Domain names consisting of a mix of numbers and letters are not considered of high quality and therefore subject to upgrade. For example: 55tuan.com, 37Wan.com, and 17u.com.

7.
Long acronym domain names (5 letters or more) are not considered of high quality and therefore subject to upgrade. For example: WJHGW.com and ZGPJB.com.

Do you have a domain name which lies in the upgrade path of a Chinese company? A research is worth the effort.