discuss 【Discussion】Let's discuss why offline end users in China do not pay much attention to domain names.

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Let me take a look at a few examples first.

Chinese internet company domain names:
iQiyi, they acquired qy.com
Tencent Technology, they acquired qq.com
JD.com, they acquired jd.com
Xiaomi Mobile, they acquired mi.com
Real estate agency Beike, they acquired ke.com

Many other internet companies in China have adopted unique Pinyin domain names, which are equivalent to natural word domain names in Western countries.

Taobao Marketplace, they use taobao.com
Baidu Corporation, they use baidu.com
Huawei Technologies, they use huawei.com

Domain names of traditional offline companies in China:

Evergrande Group(恒大héng dà), they use evergrande.com
Amway International(正威zhèng wēi), they use amer.com.cn
COFCOGroup(中粮zhōng liáng), they use cofco.com

Perhaps to professionals in the Western domain name field, the domain names of these offline traditional companies may not seem problematic as they closely match their English names. However, I learned from a colleague working in the China branch that most Chinese internet users do not understand the connection between their domain names and their company names in Chinese.

This involves some knowledge of Chinese language and the relationship between Chinese cultural elements and Pinyin domain names. I will invite my Chinese colleague to write an article introducing this topic in the future, but for now, I won't delve into it further in this article.

Why does this situation occur? (I am referring to the fact that the domain names used by traditional offline companies in China do not match their Chinese names, and they have no intention of changing them.)

Here are my personal thoughts:

1. Traditional companies do not place much importance on transitioning from offline to online. Even in the era of web 3.0, many traditional companies prefer to hold onto their existing businesses and are unwilling to acknowledge the fact that "the future belongs to the internet."

2. The rigid thinking of the leadership in traditional companies is irreversible. For example, when writing an article, the leadership of an internet company may choose a more humorous and engaging style, with content that may be more casual. However, the leadership of traditional companies may view this style as perfunctory. They do not believe that people would accept such perfunctory articles when, in fact, online audiences prefer more lighthearted content. The leadership of traditional companies expects articles to be like textbooks, like newspapers, formal and serious. But nowadays, few people have the patience to read such articles attentively.

If the decision-makers in a company have rigid thinking, then any strategy to transform towards the internet is futile. Because they are the decision-makers, you have to listen to them. Even if you bring in a lot of internet talents, as long as the decision-makers lack internet thinking in their overall strategy, it's useless! Moreover, the larger the traditional company, the more people (managers, executives) with this mindset, making it extremely difficult to change their thinking and successfully transform. So, it's even more unlikely for them to spend a huge amount of money to purchase and upgrade a domain name. When you suggest this, they would ask: What is a domain name? Why should I spend so much money to buy something like that?

3.Traditional industries cannot attract or retain relevant Internet talents.
In the Internet era, competition among companies is not only about products but also about the establishment of Internet platforms. This requires companies to place increasing importance on Internet talents. Without Internet talents, they are destined to be swallowed by the tide of the times. Unfortunately, traditional industries are facing this dilemma.

Internet technology has matured and is no longer limited to certain industries. It has penetrated into offline traditional industries. Only a small portion of people are not tempted by the allure of high salaries. Of course, I'm referring to technical professionals in specialized fields, not the management level. Personally, I don't think any Internet company would hire a top executive from a traditional industry to manage the company, especially in important core departments such as marketing, branding, and operations.

The reason is simple: traditional senior managers cannot empathize with users on the Internet, especially the younger generation, nor do they understand the rules and dynamics of the Internet. I believe that rigid thinking is irreversible, and the higher the position of traditional management, the more rigid their thinking becomes. However, this approach does not work in the Internet era! This results in a divergence of thinking between the management of traditional enterprises and the new generation of Internet technology professionals, not to mention domain names.

4. Continuous subsidy-based marketing, do traditional enterprises need it?
The establishment and marketing process of most B2C (Business-to-Consumer) Internet companies in China can be summarized as follows:
Free → Subsidies → Financing → Discounts → Reduction of subsidies → Charges → Price increase → Profit.

Let's set aside the question of whether traditional enterprises can use Internet methods for marketing and attracting traffic. Does it make sense for them to refer to the Internet model for their products? As far as I know, most traditional industries (those that have not successfully transformed) either have their own supply chain, including upstream and downstream partners, and do not need to reach users through the Internet, or the Internet cannot reach their specific customer base. In such cases, even in the "Internet era," why would they need to transform? And can some traditional enterprises with demand accept the continuous burning of money associated with the Internet?

Therefore, based on these circumstances, is there still potential for domain names related to traditional enterprises in China?
In my personal opinion, there is potential, but it requires waiting for the right opportunity.
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