Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

When I landed in the lone star state, I had decided not to study but to experience America. However, my scholarship required very high academic score. I came up with an unconventional solution. While my classmates studied books, I studied the professors, using the content analysis technique I mentioned few days ago. I listened to lectures of the professors and tried to pinpoint areas of most interest to them, and then just studied the few speculated chapters instead of the whole book. I used the time saved to join a service club, attend public talks, and do many other things. My roommate and I even drove for few hours one late night to listen to blue grass music for the first time. In the end, my experience was rich but my education was poor. Here's the post.

July 29, 2016 (Fri)

.vip end user development not ready yet

The launch of .vip in May this year by Minds + Machines was really spectacular. Within a mere 24 hours, some 167k .vip domain names were registered—mostly in China. The extension now ranks No.7 among hundreds of new extensions, and its registration number has risen to 434k on July 27, according to nTLDstats.

Many .vip domain names have been sold for very good prices—for example, for $77k (510k yuan), for $59k (390k yuan), and for $24k (158k yuan). The extension was even named the best new domain extension during the Global Domain Summit held in June this year. Why has .vip gained so much popularity in China?

For one, the word "vip" is commonly used in China. A Baidu search on the term gives more than 100m search results. Many Wechat account names contain "vip." A very popular ecommerce site uses the domain name, giving the word "vip" a very high profile. Many Chinese companies have VIP membership clubs. There is even a "vip" category of expensive products listed on the popular Taobao site. Thus, the word "vip" has become part of the Chinese language used daily, and most people are familiar with the term and its prestigious image.

Because I'm always curious about end user adoption of domain names, I did a survey of LL type .vip domain names. I checked all of the 676 names to see how they are being used, hoping to compare it with the LL .cn survey result that I described in my July 27 post.

Here's the result: 667 .vip domain names do not resolve, 8 are parked, and only one ( is developed. In fact, is a Chinese website developed by Minds and Machines. The choice of the name YM is good, because it means 域名 (domain name), which is what the registry is selling.

In short, no end user development has been found on the .vip extension. To be fair, .vip was launched only two months ago, so it may take a while to see end user development despite its enormous popularity in China. I'll revisit this issue again in the future. On the other hand, I think .vip may be a good niche player because it works in certain cases. If a company has a VIP membership club, this extension will be excellent. For example, Alibaba can use for its best customers, which complements