Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

I went for an ultrasound scan this morning. The moment the technician called out my name at the reception, I sensed she was different from the local. She's so open, light-hearted, and friendly. Her face was beaming with self-confidence. She even complimented me for being able to hold my breath for so long. After the test, we chatted for a moment and I found out she is actually from Tennessee but people often mistake her for a Texan. So, where did this kind of character typical of Americans come from? The time of the Wild West? Here's the post.

August 12, 2016 (Fri)

The most difficult domain name I've ever come across

If you want to test the patience of your website visitors, just create a complicated domain name and ask them to remember it. This is what an auto parts startup has tried -- twice -- and still does not get it.

The auto parts market in China is huge. Data in 2014 put it at $450b (3t yuan). You Che Pei (优车配) is a formidable startup offering auto parts to businesses. Founded in April this year by veterans in the auto industry, it has already attracted attention from investors. In May, the company received angel investment of $1.5m (10m yuan).

When the company started, it used as its official website. How does the domain name match the company name YouChePei? Well, a lot of creative juice is required, I'm afraid.

Split the domain name into three parts: U Car Pei. Now, compare it with the company name You Che Pei (优车配). U rhymes with the first Chinese character in the name (优). Car is the English translation for the second Chinese character (车). Finally, Pei is the Pinyin word for the third Chinese character.

So, UCarPei.dom was created using three methods together: rhyming, English translation, and Pinyin. How more complicated can it be? I don't think people can easily recall the domain name by looking at the company's name alone. Why didn't they use the matching domain name? Well, was already registered before the company was founded. The domain name does not resolve but I don't know if the company had tried to acquire it.

The company also has a trading name called Li Cheng Tian Xia (里程天下). Maybe they realized was too difficult to remember, so they changed their official website to ( now sends visitors to the new official website.) Is the new one an improvement?

Not necessarily. The new domain name is longer at 9 characters compared with the old one at 7 characters. And, the issue of non-matching domain name remains. LiChengTX seems like a half-hearted effort to match the company's trading name. A better choice may be LiChengTianXia (a bit long, and already registered by someone else before the company was formed) or

Startups should invest time in coming up with a domain name that is short, meaningful, easy to remember, and matching its company name. Always try to make it easy for your visitors to remember your domain name. The more users remember your domain name, the less you need to spend money in advertising and search engine placement, as demonstrated by the upgrade story of