Chinese firms score 12 of the top 100 names in the 2016 Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands released recently by Millward Brown and WPP. Since my interest is always domain name, I want to know what kind of domain names these 12 Chinese companies are using for the Chinese consumers. To get this information, I entered the Chinese names of the companies into Baidu search and checked the first page of the search result. Below is some basic information about the companies and the domain names I found.
Tencent (腾讯, No. 11)
Internet technology. Founded 1998. Main site is QQ.com. (Also owns Tencent.com for corporate purpose)
China Mobile (中国移动, No. 15)
Telecom service. Founded 1997. Main site is 10086.cn which is the number its customers call for services. (Also owns ChinaMobile.com and ChinaMobile.cn but they don’t resolve)
Alibaba (阿里巴巴, No. 18)
Ecommerce. Founded 1999. Main site is 1688.com which rhymes with 一路发发 or making a fortune all the way. (Also owns Alibaba.com and AlibabaGroup.com for overseas)
ICBC (工商银行, No. 27)
Bank. Founded 1984. Main site is ICBC.com.cn. (ICBC.cn is owned by another Chinese company and ICBC.com by Canadian business.)
Baidu (百度, No. 29)
Internet technology. Founded 2000. Main site is Baidu.com.
China Construction Bank (建设银行, No. 46)
Bank. Founded 1954. Main site is CCB.com.
Huawei (华为, No. 50)
Mobile phone maker. Founded 1987. Main site is Huawei.com. Also uses Vmall.com (V rhymes with Wei, part of Huawei name).
Ping An (中国平安, No. 57)
Insurance. Founded 1988. Main site is Pingan.com.
China Life (中国人寿, No. 59)
Insurance. Founded 2003. Main site is Chinalife.com. Also uses e-Chinalife.com, Chinalife-p.com.cn, and Picclife.com.
Agricultural Bank of China (中国农业银行, No. 62)
Bank. Founded 1951. Main site is ABChina.com. Also uses 95599.cn.
Bank of China (中国银行, No.71)
Bank. Founded 1912. Main site is BOC.cn. (BOC.com is owned by German conglomerate.)
JD.com (京东, No. 99)
Ecommerce. Founded 1998. Main site is JD.com.
Here are some observations:
- Most of the major Chinese brands (9 out of 12) use .com for consumers. The rest use .cn. So .com and .cn are the mainstream extensions in China.
- All except one (Agricultural Bank of China) have domain name exactly matching their company name.
- All companies founded during or after 1st Internet (1997-2000) boom use .com with matching name.
- Companies with long names (e.g. China Construction Bank) tend to use acronym domain names.
- The worst choices are by two banks: ICBC.com.cn and ABChina.com. Both banks were founded before the Internet era. They need to spend the money and acquire better extension or better name.
These observations indicate to us that .com is still the best place to invest if you plan to sell to China.