Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

In my junior year at college in the dragon city, I lost interest in studying. One day, when I was browsing in the university library I found a book written by a professor in Taiwan . He talked about the beautiful experiences he had studying first in Japan and then in the USA. I was hooked and wanted to follow his example. I finally did -- but slightly different. I went to the USA first, and then Japan. My conclusion was the same as his: beautiful! Here's the post.

September 2, 2016 (Fri)

How the snail riding a motorbike invests in domain names

Of course I'm not talking about this small animal in the real world, but a domain investor nicknamed 开摩托的蜗牛 (the snail riding a motorbike) who was interviewed during the World Domain Conference held in China recently. As I have explained before, many experienced domain investors in China are known by their nicknames.

The nickname "the snail riding a motorbike" (I'll just call him Mr. Snail here) reflects Mr. Snail's attitude of moving slowly in domain investment so that he can observe the market, spend time to think, and focus on investment for end user companies.

He owns numerics, 3C, and Pinyin (2- and 3-pin) domain names in mainstream extensions. He prefers names with good meanings. For example, he likes 168, 518, and 1314 , because 168 rhymes with 一路发 (making a fortune all the way), 518 with 我要发 (I'm going to make a fortune), and 1314 with 一生一世 (a lifetime).

Even long numbers are fine to him if, again, they have good meanings. An example is 5201314 which rhymes with 我愛你一生一世 (I love you for a lifetime). Short Pinyin names are attractive, for example Woaini (我愛你 = I love you). He also owns some 3C domain names because he finds their prices cheap and he can pick good names in this category for development by end user companies.

Mr. Snail was known on domain forums for his strong criticism against new extensions because of their massive supply. But, recently he has changed his position to neutral. He'll invest if he can find domain names in new extensions that are not expensive and can be used by end users. Interestingly, he feels most end users of new extensions are not in China but overseas, so he focuses on single-word domain names that can be used by overseas end users. Nevertheless, his collection of domain names in new extensions is small and he is willing to wait for several years before he'll see any result.

I found two things interesting about this interview:

The real name of the domain investor was not revealed in the interview even though a photo of him was included. This would be unthinkable in the western world where real name is a must in any interview. Without the real name, it becomes difficult to do research on the person.

After much search, I finally found the real name of Mr. Snail. Actually, Goggle gave me the answer -- better than Baidu in this case. Google was able to point me to a personal profile of Mr. Snail on listing Zhi Chao ZHANG (张志超) as the real name.

Let me finish by quoting Mr. Zhang's advice to new investors: read a lot, learn a lot, join domain communities, check out domain forums, register less, buy less from other investors, and sharpen your judgement.

The interview in Chinese is available at: