In previous blog posts, we’ve explained the many reasons why Chinese IDNs are good for brands and businesses, investors, brand protection agencies, and regular netizens, as well as the incredible opportunities they present. The reasons are sound and reliable, but we’ve yet to go over the specifics of how to “spin” great Chinese IDNs as an investor, and how to properly value them for your investment strategies.
What does it mean to “spin” domain names? For those of you who may be new to domain investing, in short, spinning a domain name is the process of finding an available name based on criteria such as character length, syntax, the number of syllables, and more.
So, with that said, we present our next educational resource to help you, the domain investor, spin great names and get the maximum return on your investments within the Chinese domain market. Firstly, note that certain unique qualities of the Chinese language makes the creation of investment-grade Chinese domains challenging to non-Chinese.
The general principles of spinning Chinese domain names is similar to the way people been spinning English domain names. After all, they are all domain names, of the same nature (unique identification), for the same purpose (for users to locate and visit websites), and that much is universal in every country and culture. Good Chinese domain names, like English counterparts, should posses the following qualities:
The most important first lesson for spinning good Chinese domains is to unlearn English-domaining rules of short strings.
The English language has a relatively low information density compared to hyper-compact languages such as Chinese. To express the same idea, an English speaker needs to use more characters (letters) and hence must type a longer domain name.
It is this exceptionally high information density that makes spinning good Chinese domains (especially investment grade domains) quite different than for equally good English domains.
In fact, to learn how to spin excellent Chinese domains, it is important to forget much of what you already know about spinning English domains. Many of the rules of English domains do not apply to Chinese, and some (such as “be as short as possible”) can harm your prospects.
For the Chinese language, thanks not only to high information density, but also due to certain cultural cues, methods of abbreviating, and making puns, a lot can be said within a space of a small number of characters.
Additionally, great Chinese should not only include “keywords” or “keyphrases,” but also have established legitimate, logical connections between words, all expressed in a way that fits into typical Chinese speech patterns semantically and syntactically.
Consider the following examples in spinning a domain name for a food court located within a shopping center called the “Oriental Plaza”. First, let’s look at a domain name which has been constructed according to English-domaining rules of “shorter is better”:
东方饭 (东方 = oriental / 饭 = food)
While this domain fulfils English-domaining rules of short terms, in Chinese, it is not a good or valuable domain name.
The domain is not a good choice because:
The domain is not valuable because:
In this exercise, a longer domain is much better and more valuable:
东方广场美食城 (the court of fine cuisine located within Oriental Plaza)
This is a great domain name, because:
We’re going to pause here for now and let you absorb some of the introductory information on how to spin great Chinese domains. In our next installment, part two, we’ll go over some more pointers to help you come up with some fantastic Chinese domains. Some of those pointers include the compactness of the Chinese language and how that is important to understand in domain spinning, variations of Chinese characters, pinyin inputs, and finding a Chinese expert to help you in your business.
Stay tuned for next week’s part two!
-ChopChop Domains Team
TLD Registry Ltd., the parent company of ChopChop.Domains, has released its summer 2016 newsletter, highlighting the current initiatives taking place during the year, as well as exciting updates to follow for the remainder of 2016.
The launch of both ChopChop.domains and ChopChop.news are given extensive coverage in the newsletter, and we feel that it's only appropriate to let our readers take a look and learn more about the company behind ChopChop and the changes that are forthcoming.
Other topics in the newsletter include company news and policy, upcoming events, notable registrations, and the Chinese character of the month!
Click here to view the in-browser newsletter.
We all remember the early stages of the internet and domain names when it was still considered “uncharted territory.” The small amount of people who decided to take the risk of purchasing .COM domain names back in the 1990’s speculated that it could one day pay off. The Dot Com bubble proved that domain names were in fact valuable commodities that could be bought and sold for exorbitant amounts of money, depending on the name.
The investors who decided to take a risk on these pieces of digital property prior to the Dot Com bubble enjoyed the fruits of their labor after the boom by selling certain names for lots of cash, and reinvesting back into the domain name market with more, better names to hang onto. Thus, the domain name investment industry was created, and continues to thrive today. Domain name investors, or as they’re idiosyncratically referred to as “domainers,” today don’t have the luxury of purchasing premium domain names for very little, and reselling them years later for a lot of money like what we saw in the late 90’s.
The reason why? Availability of inventory.
Before the Dot Com bubble and the subsequent thriving aftermarket industry was created, short, generic, memorable, and powerful words and phrases could be registered in .COM for a relatively safe investment cost. Of course domain name investing at that time was nothing more than betting on an uncertain future, so it was a sort of “low risk, high reward” type of investment model that investors used for speculating the risk of this new, digital commodity.
Can you imagine purchasing books.com for a few hundred bucks today? No chance. How about cars.com, or business.com? Not possible, unless you want to spend six to seven figures. It’s just the way it is. Back then, it was crazy to think that people were spending money on .COM domain names because nobody could really predict what would come of the internet at that point. Today, with the new gTLD program, people are saying the same things. There are a lot of new gTLD naysayers who think that the influx of these new extensions (generic words to the right of the dot) are nothing more than impostors, or wannabe .COMs. New gTLD extensions have been deemed weak, malicious, or untrustworthy by many, and the “Dot Com is King” narrative continues to be a prominent one in the domain investing community.
With all the negativity surrounding new gTLDs, there is an alternative growing number of those who are very high on the power and possibility of them, and see a bright future in terms of investment for them as well. One of these reasons is likened to the “next Dot Com bubble,” but with new domain extensions instead. Can’t get bookclub.com? Try book.club. Noticing that HoustonDentist.com is already registered? Try Houston.Dentist. One of the biggest reasons for the new gTLD program’s existence is that it provides people with alternative options without having to break the bank.
The same could be said with Chinese domains as well. To illustrate this point even further, take a look at the chart below, highlighting a random selection of domains which have been purchased in Dot Chinese Online (.在线) and Dot Chinese Website (.中文网) over the years at regular, general availability prices:
As you can see, there is a plentiful inventory of quality Chinese IDNs that are available at regular general availability prices, something you will not be able to say for .COMs. Two decades ago, there too was a large amount of quality .COM domain names that investors speculated could rise in value as the internet grows. Is this the new Dot Com bubble, but for new gTLDs and IDNs? Just like in the 1990’s, we can speculate all we want, but we won’t know until it happens. But if there is another “boom” and new gTLDs explode in value, now is the time to invest.
Now is the time to invest in Chinese-language domain names and reap the rewards of investing in a digital commodity that makes sense to a population of 1.4 billion people and the largest e-commerce market in the world. The new gTLD naysayers and .COM purists may continue to decry the validity of new domain extensions, but all we know is that there is a massive amount of available inventory for what could be another unprecedented digital boom in the coming years.
Invest in the future. Invest in the largest market in the world. Invest in a language that makes sense to 1.4 billion people. But don’t wait long, or you just might miss out on what could be the next Dot Com boom, but for new gTLDs.
- ChopChop Domains Team
A recurring theme in our blog has been highlighting China’s massive population of 1.4 billion people. We say it again and again, and for a good reason- there is a proliferation of consumer activity on the internet in China, and as it continues to grow and develop, the opportunity to promote and sell products and services online widens even more.
Western businesses have a unique opportunity to tap into the Chinese market and promote their products and services to the world’s largest e-commerce market, but like a lot of things in China, it’s easier said than done. Luckily, the ChopChop Domains team is an experienced group of China experts who have been doing business in China for the past several years. Because of this, we have become keenly aware of the many unique opportunities that the China market can provide western businesses, and we have learned and further crafted distinctive online strategies that said businesses can utilize to navigate the oft-confusing and difficult China consumer market, and sell more to Chinese netizens.
With the knowledge and expertise we possess regarding the online consumer market in China, we’ve developed a list of our top 12 reasons for why we believe fully Chinese domain names are good for western brands and businesses. Among these reasons is the fact that various Chinese text input methods are much easier, quicker, and better understood for netizens, brands are better protected with a localized Chinese web address, and senior citizens trust fully-Chinese messaging online rather than being scammed with non-Chinese scripts.
These are all excellent reasons for western brands and businesses to seriously consider utilizing fully-Chinese domains, however today I’d like to go into a bit more detail about reason #10: Fully Chinese domain names create powerful promotional opportunities for western brands and business looking to differentiate their products and services focused on a Chinese audience.
Here’s an example: Let’s say your business is about to launch a new product line, and part of your marketing strategy includes promoting this new product heavily in China. With fully Chinese domain names, you could set up a promotional landing page advertising your product directly to Chinese consumers, without the barrier of English text. If you’re going to appeal to a target audience, you need to speak their language! What better way to do this than to use Chinese domain names as a targeted marketing promotion.
Don’t underestimate the power of targeted online promotion. You can better reach your potential customers by catering to their culture, language, and online behavior with fully-Chinese domain names. Publicity for your products and services abound if you use Chinese domain names to your advantage. Whether it’s a site launch, re-launch, ad campaign, or you just want a channel that 1.4 people can easily understand, it all starts with the domain name.
Huge companies such as Apple, Disney, Nike, and Google all use domain variations for this exact purpose- to effectively promote their products and services to various target audiences around the world. It’s not uncommon for large corporations and SMB’s to use various ccTLDs such as China’s .CN to appeal to the online populations of different countries, so it would only make sense for them to adopt various IDNs like .在线 (Dot Chinese Online) and .中文网 (Dot Chinese Website) to further reach their target audiences.
Opportunities exist and are plentiful with domain names, especially with domain names that serve a culturally relevant and linguistically correct purpose for your business. Marketing and promotional activities require thinking beyond the traditional, monotonous, and often overdone campaigns that businesses perform over and over.
Think outside the marketing and promotional box and reach a massive Chinese market with a powerful and meaningful online campaign.
Need help getting started? Contact us here and we will point you in the right direction!
- ChopChop Domains Team