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4 companies that upgraded their domain names

These four Chinese companies upgraded their domain names for different reasons.

the word "domain upgrade" on a red backgrounder, black arrow pointing upward inside a circle

As a student of the Chinese domain market, I am excited to see companies upgrade to good domains, but I am even more excited when companies upgrade from good to great domains. Generally speaking, Chinese companies upgrade for the following reasons.

Matching brand: An end user may upgrade because its existing domain does not match its brand. For example, the world’s largest drone maker DJI ( 大疆) used to operate from DJI-Innovations.com. In 2013, the startup invested $300,000 to upgrade to the brand-matching DJI.com as its new corporate domain. Currently, DJI-Innovations.com redirects to DJI.com.

Going global: XiaoMi (小米) is the fourth largest mobile phone maker in 2018 according to Wikipedia but its name is not easy to pronounce and remember outside China. XiaoMi already owned the brand-matching XiaoMi.com but in 2014 it upgraded to Mi.com for $3.6 million. Currently, XiaoMi.com redirects to Mi.com.

Switching extension: Qihoo 360 (奇虎 360) is an internet security company. It sells a number of products with names starting with “360”, such as 360 Safeguard, 360 Mobile Safe, 360 Secure Browser, and 360 Mobile Assistant. Its corporate domain was 360.cn. In 2015, the company shelled out (a reported but not confirmed) $17 million to acquire 360.com. Currently, 360.cn is used for the domestic market only.

Going short: Jing Dong (京东) is the third largest internet company in the world according to Wikipedia. It already owned the brand-matching JingDong.com but in 2012 it acquired JD.com for $5 million. Currently, JingDong.com redirects to JD.com.

As we can see in these examples, Chinese companies like to upgrade their domains. So, it is a good idea to check and see if your domains fall into the upgrade path of end users in China.

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  1. venditaauto1 says

    With a limited number of 2/3 LL’s and China becoming a dominant commercial force will pinyin words also become suerperstrate word/terms as Baidu/Google cross reference the EMD url’s e.g. FuWu247 {Sevice 247 or 24×7} Bitcoin / Bitebi
    or Exchange / Duihuan ? Interesting when one considers how many business have yet to come online in China & India alone. Nation state tribal linguistics will play a role as as superstrate word/terms merge in what will be voice enabled searches What say you Kassey …

    • Kassey Lee says

      I believe good Pinyin — 2-pin in particular — will continue to be sought after by corporate China. Baidu.com (2-pin) and Alibaba.com (4-pin) are all Pinyin domains.

  2. Steve says

    Hi Kassey,

    What do you think about Chinese companies using a 2 pin abbreviation but not owning the full pinyin name? For example if Baidu went by BD.com, but didn’t own Baidu.com…

    My opinion is that it would be foolish to not have your pinyin name, especially if it is a generic and a competitor can use it. Your thoughts?

    • Kassey Lee says

      Sorry, I just found this comment. Very much agreed that it is important to own the matching spelled-out Pinyin domain. For brand protection, all related domains should be secured.

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