The difference in clear. As reported by eName, the auction in the 2016 Global Domain Industry Summit held in Hangzhou, China brought in over 300m CNY of domain sales. That is about 46m USD!
I don’t remember if I’ve come across any auction sales of such magnitude, so I did some checking of old news about auction sales in domain conferences.
I think Namescon is the largest domain conference in the US. Namescon 2016 had over 1200 attendees. According to the January 13, 2016 blog post by Konstantinos Zournas, NamesCon 2016 auction made $1.5m USD.
Let’s compare these two figures: 46m vs 1.5m. The difference is massive. If this trend continues, China may become the center of domain sales in the future.
This also suggests that China will have great influence over the rest of the world and we need to be aware of events occurring in China.