Andrew mentions that Domain Holdings released their sales report for the past quarter, which states that a quarter of their sales were to buyers in China. Many top registries and registrars are crediting a large portion of their sales to the Chinese market.
In the discussion between Simon and Andrew, Simon goes over myths about creating Chinese domain names, how Chinese people currently surf the web and how they will in the future, and what kind of Chinese domain names are considered premium domains to Chinese people.
Most are aware that China has the world’s largest national population. However Simon reminds us that when looking at the Chinese market, investors must have a global outlook. Thriving and financially successful Chinese speaking people are not only in China’s mainland, but in fact living in almost every country of the world. For example, New York City is the home of the largest population of Chinese people who live outside of China.
Numerals are a key feature to understand valuable Chinese domain names. In the Alexa Top 100 websites, 15 are numeric domains. The nuances of numbers in Chinese culture is detailed and opens up a market for profitability. Puns, symbolism, or references can all be derived from what seems to be a “random” combination of numbers to a non-Chinese speaker. In the podcast, Simon gives examples of each numeric nuance, showing the vast branches of semantics that emanate from combination of sounds and usage of numbers.
Andrew and Simon then segue into how people in China use the web based on culture and language differences. Referring to the 650 million Internet users in China, Simon states, “a portion of those are comfortable working with typing English letters and a much larger proportion are not comfortable working with English”. People who are not capable of using “QWERTY” keyboards go through portal sites, such as 163.com or hao123.com, that list thousands of different Chinese sites so people can simply click through the web. Simon also explains the difficulties that Chinese people stumble on when they are forced to type on keywords. Switching from English to Chinese and vice versa can be “universally annoying”.
TLD Registry and other registries are taking away that annoyance with the provision of fully-Chinese domains. Non-English speakers around the world can now type in their own language in the address bar. The availability of non-English domains, expands the Chinese domain market by attracting the whole Chinese speaking population. It no longer limits the Chinese domain market to Chinese speaking people who can also recognize English or ASCII.
To learn more in-depth about the Chinese domain name market, listen to the entire podcast. Visit the Domain Name Wire blog or find the Domain Name Wire podcast on Stitcher, iTunes or other popular podcast destinations.
Amanda Ng, TLD Registry
This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)