James Iles

Domain Data: What Type of Domains Do Beijing Based Companies Really Use?

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By James Iles, Mar 15, 2017
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Chinese domaining activity has dominated the headlines of blogs over the past couple of years. The buying power of Chinese investors drove a renewed desire for short domain names, which in turn saw wholesale prices increase across the board.

    There have been several different arguments as to why Chinese investors decided to buy up thousands of valuable domain names. One theory is that many of the domain names will be sold at a later date to Chinese end users.

    The startup community in China is rapidly evolving, with recent estimates suggesting that 12,000 startups are being created in China every day. With this in mind, we wanted to take a look at a cross section of companies that are based in Beijing.


    The Companies

    Using Crunchbase's database, we've taken statistics from one-thousand companies whose headquarters are listed as being in Beijing. There is no limit on the company's age, their value, or industry.

    In total, there were thirty-four companies that didn't list their company website, so we don't have data for them. We also had to remove several entries that did not have a dedicated domain name for the company or listed an incomplete domain name. Statistics from our remaining 948 companies will be profiled below.

    Out of the companies in question, 630 companies are listed on Crunchbase as having received funding, with eight listed as receiving more than $1 billion in total funding.


    The Domain Extensions

    In total, our list of Beijing based companies contains thirty-one different domain name extensions. Theses are made up of the obvious extensions such as .COM or .CN, as well as many country code domains such as .COM.HK, .HK and .IO. There are also a couple of examples of new gTLD usage, but these only make up 0.42% of our entire list.

    domaindata.jpg
    It should be no surprise to hear that .COM dominates the chart. At total of 71.5% of companies in our list are using a .COM domain name to host their listed website. This number is slightly lower than many other domain data article subjects in the past, but it does show that .COM is still overwhelmingly popular.

    As this article is profiling domain names of Beijing based companies, you would expect there to be a wide usage of .CN or .COM.CN, China’s primary domain extensions. Aside from .COM, China’s two primary extensions make up a total of 19.9% of all listed domain names.

    The remaining twenty-eight domain name extensions make up the 8.6% of domain usage, with .CO, .NET, .ORG and .IO receiving several listings.


    Length

    We have learned over the past couple of years that Chinese domain investors are fans of short domain names, but is that the case amongst these Beijing based companies?

    The mean average length of domain names in our list is seven, with the median and mode averages also working out to seven.

    This mean average is shorter than other samples we have analyzed in the past and although we shouldn’t read too much into this statistic, it could mean that either more companies are using shorter domains, or that more companies are avoiding longer domain names.

    The list contains one single-character domain name (d.cn), along with nine two-character domains. These two-character domains include six .COM’s, two of which are two-numbers and four of which are two-letters.

    There are also thirty-four companies using three-character domain names. These include two three-number .COM’s, five three-letter .COM’s and three three-character .COM’s.

    The award for the longest domain name on our list goes to the eighteen character domain that is ChinaSelectCapital.com.


    Numbers

    Numbers have deep meaning in China, with some numbers even impacting Chinese culture. For example, many elevators in Chinese buildings tend to omit the fourth floor, since the number four is considered to be very unlucky.

    Our list shows that a total of eighty-one domain names include at least one number. This equates to 8.5% of our list.

    In terms of the numbers used, you may assume that the number eight would be the most popular, since it is considered to be the luckiest number in Chinese culture. You would be wrong. In fact, the most popular number is the number one, followed closely behind by zero.

    In fact, the number eight is the eighth most frequent number from our list, with just eleven occurrences throughout our eighty-one domains. You should not be surprised to hear that the number four is the least popular number, with only one occurrence of this number within our list.

    There are two companies using five-number .COM’s, and two instances of companies using domain names containing four-numbers.


    Letters

    You may assume that with the domain name sales to Chinese domain investors over the past couple of years that vowels are unpopular in China.

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst vowels are not used in Pinyin acronyms, they are frequently used elsewhere.

    The most popular letter from all domain names within our list is the letter A, followed closely by the letters O and N.

    Interestingly, the least popular letters from the domain names we sampled are Q, J and W. I was personally surprised to see W as being one of the least popular, since it is a highly desirable letter among short domain names that are sold to Chinese investors.


    --


    Unfortunately, we cannot share the complete data since the statistics in this article were obtained using a Crunchbase Pro license.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 345th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (9)

  6. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN Business Member Business Account VIP

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  7. botlawyer

    botlawyer Established Member

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    This is an EXCELLENT article, James - and your many hours of research are evident.

    The most interesting statement (to me) that you made was the following:

    "In terms of the numbers used, you may assume that the number eight would be the most popular, since it is considered to be the luckiest number in Chinese culture. You would be wrong. In fact, the most popular number is the number one, followed closely behind by zero."

    So for all we've heard about BOTH, four (4) and zero (0) being unlucky and disfavored in China, I guess we can amend that dogma. However, I do seem to recall Kassey Lee (?) mentioning that zero at the beginning is bad, but at the end is good.
     
  8. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Yes, 0 isn't a bad number at all. Although a domain starting with a 0 can be considered less valuable because it could be seen as a redundant number, e.g 0889.com is less valuable than 3889.com (if there's no obvious meaning to 0889)... There's a little bit about this in my book about China (shameless plug)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  9. Kassey Lee

    Kassey Lee Coreile | 域名博客 Business Account VIP

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    Great article! That's a lot of work in creating this article. Thanks.

    The 71.5% .com usage echos my two studies (see Coreile.com/p170111 and Coreile.com/p160715) of the Top 100 and New 300 internet startups in China:

    Extension/Top 100/New 300
    .com 88% 76%

    No, I like all numbers, as long as they have good meanings. It just happens that all numbers from 0 to 9 can have good meanings (see Coreile.com/123). What we need is creative thinking to create a great brand out of a numeric domain name. For example, 02.com can be a great brand for a dating site because 02 rhymes with 赢爱 (win love). I have never been into the Chip idea so I never judge each individual number. I look at the whole name and spend time to think how I can create good meaning from the name. Remember 4.cn is a great business after all.
     
  10. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    From a purely investment point of view, the 0 at the beginning does tend to produce lower prices, even compared with other names that just contain or end with a 0.

    I think your translation of number & letter combinations is fascinating - really great asset for the industry :)
     
  11. DGMDomains

    DGMDomains Established Member

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    I'm surprised to see W the least popular too since it usually stands 'Network' along with the CHIP letters. Still got investors wanting chips .coms with the W at the end. Great info!
     
  12. Leo Angelo

    Leo Angelo Business Member Business Account NamePros Supporter

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    Enlightening China market info. And thank you for mentioning the tool.
     
  13. namerav

    namerav Active Member VIP

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    Everyday 12,000 startups creating in China - Huge potential for domain names.
     
  14. rhakim

    rhakim Established Member

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    Great article.
     
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