Companies using a subdomain for a business unit might want to upgrade to the matching second-level domain.
If you see a brand using a subdomain of its parent company’s domain, there may be an opportunity to sell your domain which matches the subdomain. That’s what I thought when I read a Baidu article (Chinese) about the entertainment startup Mao Yan.
Tianjin Maoyan Culture Media “owns the largest online movie ticketing website in China” according to Wikipedia. Although the company’s name is long, it’s generally referred to as “Mao Yan” (猫眼), a 2-pin name which literally means “cat’s eyes”.
Mao Yan was incubated inside the group-buying startup Mei Tuan. In response to strong demand for group buying of movie tickets, Mie Tuan set up an independent division in January 2012 to cater specifically to that need. They called the new division “Mei Tuan Movie” but subsequently changed it to “Mao Yan”, operating from the brand-matching subdomain Maoyan.meituan.com.
In August 2013, Mao Yan upgraded the domain to Maoyan.com after acquiring it earlier from a domain investor (price not disclosed). It became an independent company in 2016 and then listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2019. The company has expanded its services to include entertainment contents, ecommerce, and advertising.
Here are several things we can learn from this story:
- A brand of a large company operating from the company’s subdomain may upgrade to its own domain.
- 2-pin names are popular in China. In this case, both Mei Tuan and Mao Yan are 2-pin names.
- Brand-matching .com is popular, as illustrated by Meituan.com and Maoyan.com.