Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

Some time ago my wife and I flew to Phoenix, Arizona to attend a property investment bootcamp. For several days we learned from experts how to read MLS lists, appraise houses, work out renovation costs, and many more. We even inspected properties in the local area to gain practical experience. Before we graduated, each student was required to make real offers on at least five properties. That was most scary but my wife and I managed to make 23 offers with several realtors but -- luckily or unluckily -- all were rejected by the sellers. What did I learn? It's a numbers game and persistence is key to success in life. Here's the post.

August 19, 2016 (Fri)

Want to befriend big Chinese investors? Get a nickname

Well, that's probably not true, but nevertheless it's the impression I got when I read the list of speakers and participants at the 16th anniversary meeting of the longest running domain forum (域名城) this week. The forum started on August 18, 2000 and many big investors are associated with this forum, such as Domain King Wen Sheng CAI (蔡文胜). Some of the early investors made a lot of money in domain investment and then went on to build great companies.

Just to show you how popular nicknames are in China, here are the examples of some big investors who attended the meeting.

NicknameMeaningReal nameEnglish
八怪eight strange men叶旭建Xu Jian YE
火牛fiery cow魏志强Zhi Qiang WEI
航叔Uncle Hang沈晓航Xiao Hang SHEN
黎叔Uncle Li黎俭Jian LI
地瓜sweet potato吴华宇Hua Yu WU
莉妹younger sister jasmine林莉Li LIN
66sixty six张蔚Yu ZHANG
帽子王king of hats景玉生Yu Sheng JING

Did you notice something special about the names in the list? Yes, the majority of the nicknames are 2-pin, confirming what I have been saying that Chinese prefer 2-pin names. Actually, I saw this pattern everywhere when I was growing up in the dragon city.

Since Chinese companies like short domain names, their preference for 2-pin names translates to their love for LL domain names. A good example is ecommerce giant JingDong (京东). Even though it has the perfect matching name, it still spent $3m to upgrade to (Currently, redirects to

Now, back to nicknames. If a nickname alone does not help you connect with big Chinese investors, what can we do? LinkedIn may be a good channel, based on my still brief experience on this social network. Both Facebook and Twitter failed in China, but LinkedIn is probably the only social network which is successful both inside and outside China.

Now that Microsoft owns LinkedIn, it may have the potential to become "the" social network for business executives in China. I have already made quite a few connections with domain executives in China, so maybe you can consider this option too. Of course, it's not a bad idea to give yourself a nickname as well. Just make sure the name projects a nice image about yourself.