This domain name registrar has an interesting promotion to combat the novel coronavirus.
When you watch news about China these days, you may often see a masked nurse pointing a gun at a patient’s forehead. It’s not a real gun but actually an infrared thermometer that measures the forehead temperature without making any contact with the patient.
Now, there are people who see opportunities in a crisis. On March 1, Chinese domain registrar West.cn launched a marketing campaign to promote the Chinese IDN extension .在线 (online).
This is how it works. If you register a .在线 (online) domain, you get 20 free masks. If you register for multiple years, you get multiple sets of the masks, for example, 5 x 20 for 5-year registration. If you register for 10 years, you get a free thermometer gun as well. For domain renewal, the bargain works mostly the same.
The marketing campaign may be aggressive. However, when you look at the big picture, .在线 (online) is not rosy at all. Since its launch in 2014, the extension has gained only 27,000 domain registrations as of this writing. It peaked in 2018 with 48,000 registrations and since then has been going down.
Namestat includes the top 10 sales for this extension but all of them happened in 2015.
In short, the marketing campaign may be creative but the future of the .在线 (online) extension is not bright.