This Japanese singer’s nickname has a different meaning in China.
My interest in Yuming went back to the days when I was working in Tokyo. Life was stressful at times but Yuming took me to a different world.
Yuming (ユーミン) is actually a nickname. It belongs to the singer-songwriter Yumi Matsutoya who has been popular for decades in Japan. The name does not appear to have any meaning. If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli, you may have heard her song Hikouki Gumo in the movie “The Wind is Rising” released in 2013. Her music makes you feel like you’re flying through outer space — with all your worries left on earth.
In 2001, Yuming started her official site at Yuming.co.jp, which is still running today. Interestingly, some of her fans acquired Yuming.com in 2008 and developed it into a fan site showing her concert schedule and other information. The site was quite amateurish and became inactive in 2011.
A week ago, top domain investor Yue Dai posted a message on LinkedIn together with a picture. I immediately recognized the picture of Yuming but I did not know the story of how Dai acquired the domain. According to him, investor Yinan Wang secured Yuming.com in 2017 after years of trying to contact the domain owner. Subsequently, he transferred the domain to Dai. You can read the LinkedIn post for details of the story.
Once Yuming.com landed in China, its meaning also changed. Now Yuming refers to the Pinyin words Yu Ming (域名=domain), a category-defining name covering every aspect of domains. The Chinese owner of this can start any business related to domains. That’s the enormous power of this domain.
The story of Yuming.com shows that a name on the global extension .com transcends national borders. It may have different meanings and, therefore, different values. You don’t know such a difference until you study the domain. That’s why research is key to domain investing.
I’m sad that Yuming.com is no longer about my favorite musician, but I’m glad that the domain has tremendous potential in the hands of a mover and shaker in the Chinese domain industry.