Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

Being native in a language does not guarantee you are always good at using that language. Here's an example. A while ago we organized a potluck dinner at our home where each guest was to bring a dish. A native English-speaking friend texted me to say she would be coming. She then wrote, "Can I bring a desert?" Being in a joking mood, I wrote back, "Yes, please bring some camels as well." She was truly puzzled by my answer until I pointed out what the missing "s" was doing to the meaning of her words. So, I too need to be careful when answering questions related to the Chinese language. Here's the post.

September 16, 2016 (Fri)

Did they really have to upgrade their Chinese domain names?

Today I read two stories in the news about domain upgrades that in my opinion are not necessary but highly desirable. Let me share the stories with you now.

Kao Man Fen (考满分) is an online service by startup Yingheyoushi to help students prepare for TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, and GMAT tests. Kao Man Fen means "score full marks in examination" so is very appropriate for the service. When launched, the website was built on The domain name is 3-pin, has only 9 characters, uses .com, and is the exact match of the name of the service. In my book, this is a perfect domain name for any company operating in China and there is no need to change.

But, just few days ago the startup changed its already excellent domain name to the short According to the company, this change is a domain upgrade, so obviously they think the acronym is better than the fully spelled out name. now redirects to

Che Mao (车猫) offers used car certification services to make buying and selling of used cars easier. Car inspection and tests are performed in Hangzhou, the city where the company is located. In a sense, the service is quite local. The official website of Che Mao is The domain name is 2-pin, has only 6 characters, and is the exact match of the company name. As a local service, the is good enough in my book so there is no need to change the domain name.

Recently the company acquired which is operating now. The company announced that it was an upgrade to a global domain name. In fact, if you visit the company's website, you can see it's not an ordinary, local business. What you sense is an internet startup filled with youthfulness and skills in app development. Their aspiration is much more than a local service provider.

What do the actions of these two companies tell me? The best domain name desired in corporate China is a short .com name which stands for "prestige" and "global".