Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

When we walked up the mountain this morning, we looked north east and all we saw was a clear blue sky with very white clouds. A good day was waiting for us, we thought. Once we reached the summit and turned south west, all we saw were dark clouds moving in fast. It's time to run back home! In the sail city, you need to carry both an umbrella and a pair of sunglasses when you go out, because you don't know how the weather will change. Here's the post.

May 5, 2016 (Thu)

How One Company Upgraded Its Domain Name

Innovation Works is no common name. It's a VC firm founded in 2009 by the Taiwan-born, US-educated Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, one of the most prominent figures in the Chinese internet sector, according to Wikipedia. He has an impressive resume, including being founder of Microsoft Research Asia and head of Google China.

The company's Chinese name is 创新工场 (Chuang Xin Gong Chang).

When the company was formed, the corporate site used the domain name Some time later, the domain name was upgraded to a shorter name: Then, the name was further upgraded to

Today, does not resolve, and redirects to, so we know is their corporate website.

In short, the company started with a long .com name matching its company's English name, then went for a shorter name on .cn matching its Chinese company name, and finally coming back to .com but keeping the Chinese name.

So the question is: Why doesn't the company buy when it is available on Afternic as of this writing? I think the reason may be that the company's activities are mostly in China, so a Pinyin name is sufficient.

Here are some tips we can pick up from this company's domain upgrade experience.
  1. Some English domain names such as may be difficult for Chinese to remember.
  2. A short name is better than a long name.
  3. If you operate mainly in China, then a Pinyin domain name is sufficient.
  4. .com is valued above .cn in China.