China may rule e-commerce.
I was reading news the other day and was intrigued by a picture posted on Economist.com. It reveals a dragon rearing its head, which is not of the usual kind but a shopping cart.
The article says that “it is in China, not the West, where the future of e-commerce is being staked out.” Certainly, Chinese internet retailers have brought out many innovations in recent years, such as live commerce, where celebrity-driven programs livestream content to sell products.
If Chinese e-commerce operators will have a great impact on both China and the rest of the world, I suppose their domain preference will also influence others in the business world too. So, I decided to dive deeper and found “2020 Hurun Top 10 Ecommerce Enterprises in China” (2020胡润中国10强电商) published by the well-acclaimed Hurun Research Institute.
Then, I used Baidu to find the corporate domains used by them. The result is shown below.
|9||车好多||CARS (Che Hao Duo)||Guazi.com|
So, what is the implication for domain investment? Simply put, .com is the main stage and English-based domains are fine in China. Note that the top 9 companies on the list not only own .com domains but actually use them within China. China is like the USA in that .com domains are widely used within the country, rather than the country code domain.
Also, “short” is good. This is shown in the case of Jing Dong (owns JingDong.com but uses JD.com) and Vipshop (owns Vipshop.com but uses VIP.com). By the same token, we can guess that Pinduoduo may upgrade to the shorter PDD.com (after all, the company is already referred to as “PDD” in some news).
Note that most of the listed domains are brand-matching. What does it mean? For example, Jack Ma’s company is called Alibaba Group Holding, but most people remember it as “Alibaba.” Therefore, its brand is “Alibaba,” and so the brand-matching domain is Alibaba.com but not AlibabaGroup.com or AlibabaGroupHolding.com. Of course, the acronym version is also acceptable.
Didi is the ride-sharing giant that defeated Uber China and acquired it in 2016. However, its corporate domain is DidiGlobal.com but not the brand-matching Didi.com.
CARS (Che Hao Duo) is using its group domain Guazi.com. I speculate that the used car marketplace operator may, if they can, upgrade to Cars.com (developed, so unlikely), CheHaoDuo.com (apparently undeveloped), or simply CHD.com (not used yet).
MissFresh may want to talk to Canada-based Cook It at ChefCookit.com because the meal kit service provider owns MissFresh.com, which is not used currently.
In short, there are many opportunities to sell domains to corporate China. If you own a domain that lies in the upgrade path of a well-funded Chinese company, then your domain is very valuable. End user research is key. It has already helped me discover the great potential of PDD.com, Didi.com, CHD.com, and MissFresh.com.