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.
|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|
|Vivo||VivoGlobal.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.com||Unknown|
Here are some obervations.
Chinese companies like to upgrade to short .com names.
Companies may upgrade by getting rid of non-essential words. For example: 360Safe to 360, VivoGlobal to Vivo, and Lufax to Lu.
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.
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.
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.
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.