This company’s Chinese name would not have worked globally.
I like 3 letter (3L) domains so I spend a lot of time in this space. I have a database of Chinese companies that could benefit from an upgrade to 3L domains. I also have a database of Chinese brands created from 3L domains that startups can use. One powerful feature of 3L domains that you may not know is that they can help Chinese companies go global.
Zhu Ba Jie (猪八戒) is a name familiar to every Chinese. In the classic novel “Journey to the West,” a Chinese monk travels to far off places filled with mystery and adventure. One of his companions is Zhubajie, a soft-hearted and optimistic pig who often gets into trouble.
In 2005, Zhumingyue (朱明跃) registered the 3-pin Zhubajie.com and started a marketplace to connect businesses with individuals offering professional services such as logo design, translation, and IT. Within a short time, his company has grown into a unicorn with 4,000 employees. Considered the largest crowdsourcing website in China, Zhubajie has expanded globally as well, with presence in Singapore.
While ZhuBaJie.com is an excellent choice for the domestic market, Mr. Zhu knew the brand/domain would be too long and difficult to remember outside China. Therefore, in 2016 he acquired the matching acronym domain ZBJ.com as the new corporate domain. As an added benefit, web traffic was reported to skyrocket after the upgrade.
In terms of branding, Mr. Zhu’s company is remembered as Zhubajie at the digital address of ZBJ.com. Outside China, his company is known as ZBJ.com or simply ZBJ. No rebranding was required in the process of going global. So, you can see the power of the 3L domain in this upgrade story.
Mr. Zhu registered Zhubajie.com not because of the classic Chinese novel, but because the domain was available and it also happens to start with his name. As it turned out, ZBJ.com has made Mr. Zhu’s own journey to the west easy. He also understands the power of domains, for he once said, “If you cannot get the company name as well as its domain, then don’t run your business (公司名、域名，拿不下就不要干了).” This shows the domain is as important as the company name.