Data from Baidu shows how people in China visit websites.
Is domain important when Chinese consumers visit a website? What are the implications in terms of demand for domains and types of domains that can sell to people and companies in China? As a domain investor, these are the questions I want to get answers to.
Baidu made two changes in 2019. First, the company stopped releasing yearly figures. I solved the problem by averaging the monthly numbers of a year to give us the data we need. This assumes the same traffic each month, but the numbers are roughly the same from month-to-month. You can see the monthly numbers for 2020 below.
In the same year, Baidu removed the “Directory” and “Social Media” categories. Instead, it added “Insite Visit” which is translated from 站内来源 (Zhan Nei Lai Yuan) because I could not find the corresponding term in English. “Insite Visit” measures visitors who become active again after being idle for more than 30 minutes. (If the term is too technical to understand, you are not alone. Because its share is tiny, we can ignore the category.) Below are the yearly numbers.
When you look at the numbers, one thing stands out: Over 65% of consumers visit a site directly. In other words, they must remember the domain and then use it to arrive at the site.
Here are two takeaways: (1) Domains are very important, so corporate demand for them is solid and will grow as China expands its economy and global reach. (2) Short, easy-to-remember domains will continue to be sought after by Chinese companies. Specifically, that means mostly .com or .cn domains because they are familiar to Chinese consumers.