At the Global Mobile Internet Conference in 2013, Tencent CEO Hua Teng MA famously said, “We even think that the internet may not need domain names in the future.” Few years later, what do we see in China now? It appears the opposite is actually happening.
Chinese consumers welcome short domain names such as Le.com, JD.com, and 360.com, and typing a domain name directly is the most preferred method for them to visit a company on the internet. Even Mr. Ma finally managed to acquire Weixin.com early this year — he had to resort to legal battle in order to grab this much coveted name.
All these events are telling us that domain names have a bright future in China, and companies are beginning to understand the power of a good domain name. As further evidence of the importance of domain names, let’s hear the words spoken by two men closely in touch with domain names in China.
Jiu Xian Wang (酒仙网=wine immortal net) was founded in 2009 by Mr. Hong Feng HAO to sell wine on the internet. In 2010, the company acquired JiuXian.com, a short, 2-pin name matching the company name. Since then, the startup has received 7 rounds of venture capital funding and listed on a stock exchange. The company has become the largest wine ecommerce website in China valued at 65b CNY.
As head of this multibillion dollar company, Mr. Hao said, “A good domain name can save you 90% of your advertising expenses.” While domain acquisition is a one-time cost, advertising spend recurs every year. No wonder Chinese startups are scrambling to buy the best .com domain names from the west.
Wo Wo Tuan (窝窝团=a group of people) was founded in 2010 to leverage the power of group in purchasing products at large discount. The official website was 55tuan.com (55 rhymes with Wo Wo). In 2011, they paid the prominent domain investor Yi LIU about 20m CNY to upgrade from 55tuan.com to 55.com. Shortly, the company rose to become to largest group purchasing website in China and last year it was listed on Nasdaq. Mr. Liu said, “A good domain name gives you an edge. By simply owning a good domain name, you have already succeeded by 15%.”
So, as short and meaningful .com domain names offer real advantage and cost saving, they will continue to be sought after by end users as well as investors in China.
Note: Part of this post is based on http://news.ename.cn/yuming_20160624_104963_1.html.