Kassey Lee discusses China’s rise and what it means for domain investing.
After listening to an interview with billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio (Ray Dalio: CHINA Town Hall 2020), I have started paying attention to what he says about China. After all, Dalio helped China create the nation’s stock markets in the late 1980s.
Dalio starts by sharing his personal involvement in China as soon as the country opened up. The most interesting bit I’ve found is the history he mentioned about global trading, reserve currency, and financial center.
According to Dalio, all leading trading empires over the last 500 years had the world’s reserve currency and the world financial center. During the 1600s and 1700s, the Dutch guilder became the world’s reserve currency and Amsterdam became the world’s financial center after Holland became the world’s largest trading country.
In the 1700s and 1800s, the British pound became the world’s reserve currency and London became the world’s financial center after the British Empire became the world’s largest trading country. From the 20th century up until now, the United States dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and New York is the world’s financial center after the U.S. became the world’s largest trading country.
Now, China has become the world’s largest trading country, Dalio said. That means many Chinese companies are going global and will continue to do so for quite a while. This will be reflected in the choice of name and matching domain by Chinese startups. What kind of domains will they choose? I think the following types are desirable.
English .com domains
The internet is global by its very nature. English is the global language and .com a global extension, so many Chinese startups will naturally choose to use an English-based name with the matching .com domain. Some examples are NetEase.com (网易) and ByteDance.com (字节跳动).
Pronounceable Pinyin domains
Some Pinyin words are easy to pronounce outside China, so Chinese startups will pay attention to this aspect when choosing a name and its matching domain. The best Pinyin domain I like is Alibaba.com (阿里巴巴), and another one is Baidu.com (百度).
If you have a Pinyin domain that is not easy to pronounce, you can upgrade to an acronym domain. A good example can be found in the story of “How a 3 letter domain helped this business go global” where ZhuBaJie.com was upgraded to ZBJ.com.
Numeric domains are popular in China. In my opinion, 2-digit domains even without meaning or 3-digit domains with good meanings can also be used outside China. Examples are 17.com (which has no meaning) and 360.com (which suggests “complete” or “comprehensive”).
In short, China will continue to offer great opportunities for domain investors as it consolidates its position as the world’s largest trading country.