V isn’t popular in the West, but it is in China.
I just read the Premium Domain Sales Observation Report (pdf) published by Guta. It’s a good source to understand the high-end segment of the Chinese domain market. The report analyzes sales of short .com domains and the latest issue intrigues me with the sale of a domain containing the letter “v”.
VQD.com was sold in December last year for a mere $8,440. That’s a very low price. I have to go back to 2014 to find similar sales — and 6 years is a long long time in the age of the internet. The low price may be due to the “v” in the domain, which is considered non-premium according to the Chips domain investment theory.
Being curious, I visited a large number of three-letter .com domains beginning with “v” and I was pleasantly surprised to find Chinese companies actually operating from “v” domains. Here are some examples.
VKQ.com offers digital contract services based on blockchain. The service is currently available in China only. Its Chinese brand is 3-pin Wei Kuai Qian (微快签) which means “micro fast signing”. As you can see, VKQ does not exactly match the Pinyin name. The problem part is the “v” letter but the company uses the rhyming technique to overcome it. “v” is associated with “wei” because “v” sounds similar to “wei”.
VQS.com is a game portal where you can download games to play on Android phones. Its Chinese brand is V Qi Shi (V骑士) which means “the V knight”. By incorporating “v” into their Chinese brand, they don’t have to deal with the acronym issue at all. QS matches the rest of the Pinyin name.
VNS.com redirects to www–vns.com, which is an online casino. The company simply uses “vns” in its Chinese brand VNS娱乐城. The website does not appear to have any explanation of the brand and what “vns” stands for (virtual network service?). In this case, translation to Pinyin is not involved.
So, acronym domains containing “v” do have end users in China. If a domain containing “v” happens to fall into the domain path of a well-funded end user, then the domain is very valuable. It pays to do end user research.