The largest companies in China still prefer short, English-based .com domains

Kassey Lee examines corporate domain choices in China.

That’s the main takeaway from my study of the past two years of data based on the largest companies in China.

Fortune publishes the Fortune China 500 list (in Chinese) every year. Recently, I used Baidu and Google to locate the corporate domain of each of the top 100 companies on the list, and here are the results of my research.

Extension 2019 2020
.com 72% 71%
.cn 25% 26%

Obviously, .com is king in corporate China. What I mean is that .com is considered most valuable and highly sought after. Over 70% of the largest companies prefer .com and there has been no major change. Unlike many other countries, .com domains are widely used within China. .Cn only plays a secondary role, which is also evident in the following data.

Over half of the companies don’t even bother to develop the .cn domain corresponding to their corporate domain, and seven companies don’t want to acquire the .cn domain even when it is still available for purchase:

.cn 2019 2020
Not resolve 50% 55%
Developed 34% 33%
Forward 4% 3%
For sale 7% 7%

Short is good in corporate China. The medium length of the domains (name only, excluding the extension) is only 7 characters — for both years:

Length 2019 2020
Medium 7 7

Some investors might assume Pinyin domains are most popular in corporate China. Actually, English-based domains are the most popular choice. Some examples are (#20), (#35), and (#54).

Language 2019 2020
English 44% 44%
Acronym 31% 31%
Mixed 19% 18%
Pinyin 6% 6%
Numeric 0% 1%

The conclusion is clear: if you want to sell to end users in corporate China, focus on short, English-based .com domains.

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