Kassey Lee reviews top level domain usage by top new internet companies in China.
Several years ago some domain experts predicted that the next generation companies would prefer new extensions because of better names at lower prices than .com. Is this trend happening now? I want to know, so do people investing in the Chinese domain market.
Long established magazine CI Week has recently published the “2017 Top 300 New Internet Companies” (2017新互联网公司TOP300) list, which provides an excellent source to study this trend.
I have selected the top 30 companies from the list for a detailed analysis. For each of the companies, I used Baidu search to find the domain name for its corporate site. The result is shown in the table below.
|1||京东金融||Jing Dong Jin Rong||JR.JD.com|
|2||众安保险||Zhongg An Bao Xian||Zhongan.com|
|3||易鑫金融||Yi Xin Jin Rong||Daikuan.com|
|4||摩拜单车||Mo Bai Dan Che (Mobike)||Mobike.com|
|5||泰康在线||Tai Kang Zai Xian||TK.cn|
|6||微众银行||Wei Zhong Yin Hang||Webank.com|
|7||蜻蜓FM||Qing Ting FM||Qingting.fm|
|8||51信用卡||51 Xin Yong Ka||U51.com|
|9||熊猫TV||Xiong Mao TV||Panda.tv|
|10||乐视体育||Le Shi Ti Yu||Lesports.com|
|11||瓜子二手车直卖网||Gua Zi Er Shou Che Zhi Mai Wang||Guazi.com|
|12||美菜网||Mei Cai Wang||Meicai.cn|
|13||趣分期||Qu Fen Qi||Qufenqi.com|
|14||小赢理财||Xiao Ying Li Cai||Xiaoying.com|
|15||中商惠民网||Zhong Shang Hui Min Wang||Huimin.cn|
|17||ofo共享单车||OFO Gong Xiang Dan Che||OFO.so (OFO.com)|
|18||摩比神奇360 Security||Mo Bi Shen Qi 360||360securityapps.com|
|19||碳云智能科技||Tan Yun Zhi Neng Ke Ji||iCarbonx.com|
|20||好屋中国||Hao Wu Zhong Guo||Haowu.com|
|21||掌众金融||Zhang Zhong Jin Rong||Weshare.com.cn|
|22||波奇网||Bo Qi Wang||Boqii.com|
|23||理财网||Li Cai Wang||XGQQ.com|
|24||贝贝网||Bei Bei Wang||Beibei.com|
|26||车和家||Che He Jia||Chehejia.com|
|27||云鸟配送||Yun Niao Pei Song||Yunniao.cn|
|28||e袋洗||e Dai Xi||eDaixi.com|
|29||斗鱼TV||Dou Yu TV||Douyu.com|
|30||人人车||Ren Ren Che||Renrenche.com|
The result is very clear: 77% of the next generation companies prefer .com and only 17% use .cn. The only two non-mainstream extensions spotted are .tv and .fm. Therefore, .com is still king! If you want the largest pool of corporate buyers, stick with .com.
Why no change at all? Consumers are busy, and remembering less is better. However, new extensions require consumers to remember not just the name but also the extension of a domain name. This is a big ask. Amazon knows this issue well. They popularized one-click online shopping, after all.
Digging deeper, we see that 70% of the domain names match their brands. This means most startups in China understand the power of a brand-matching domain name: if you remember a brand, you know what products it represents and where to buy them online.
You may notice Pinyin names are popular: 60% of the domain names are Pinyin. However, I caution startups to study their desired Pinyin name to make sure it can be used globally. Is it easy to pronounce? Some good Pinyin names in the list are Beibei.com and Douyu.com. On the other hand, names such as Zhongan.com and Qufenqi.com may be challenging outside China. There is a workaround, however, by upgrading to a short acronym such as ZG.com and QFQ.com in this example.
In short, .com will remain the golden standard in corporate China.