The performance of .cc has surprised me. In my July 15 post, I analyzed domain extensions used by the best rising stars in the internet world of China. What I correctly expected was the dominance of .com and .cn. What I didn’t expect was the appearance of .cc on the stage. In fact, this extension ranks No. 3 after .com and .cn.
Among the 300 best new startups, five have built their businesses on .cc, followed by .net (4), .me (3), and .tv (2). In the western world, .cc is seldom heard but the other three are popular choices. China now paints a different picture — .cc may be emerging as a credible extension ahead of the other three.
.cc promoters often cite the advantage of country extensions being the shortest (2 characters only), thus allowing startups to use very short, cool name to stand above a long, dull name on mainstream extensions. They say cc also means “Chinese company” or “commercial company” (can a company be non-commercial?), so very suitable for end users. Let’s look at the five startups and see if that is true.
YOU+ provides apartment accommodation with a social feature. The company does not seem to own its .com and .cn names.
黄太吉 (Huangtaiji) is a food delivery service. The company does not seem to own .com and .cn.
足 记 (Zuji) is an app to record your life like a movie. The company also owns .com but Baidu confirms .cc being their official website.
火 柴盒 (Huochaihe) is an app which allows sharing of memories in life such as song or poem. The company also owns .com but .cc is their official website.
英众 (Yingzhong) is a sports-related video service. The company does not seem to own .com and .cn.
Interestingly, both Zuji and Huochaihe own their .com names yet they prefer to focus on .cc. This shows some startups in China actually like non com. The puzzling part is their domain names, which are quite long at two or three words, and there is no sematic relationship between the name and its extension. In these cases, the advantage of “shortness” and “playing with words” do not apply.
What we do know is some of the best emerging startups in China have built their businesses on .cc, which gives credibility to this extension. However, they have not taken advantages offered by country extensions such as .cc. So, I’m not sure if this trend will take root. Further watch of this extension is required and I may revisit this topic and check the growth of .cc in the future.