China Trademark 50 provides clues for domain investing

Kassey Lee examines more data about what domains Chinese companies choose.

When running a business, we need to know our customers in order to provide the right products to them. This is also true when selling domains to end users in China.

For that purpose, I have studied the top 100 internet companies in China and Fortune China 100 companies. Today, we’ll look at “China Trademark 50” published by World Trademark Review, which lists companies in China holding the most trademarks. These companies are leaders in corporate China and therefore can show us the overall domain preference of Chinese companies.

Below is the list. Because two companies are foreign (Disney and Sanrio) and 10 companies could not be found, that leaves 38 companies on the list which are meaningful for our analysis.

RankCompanyDomain
1TencentTencent.com
2JingdongJD.com
3AlibabaAlibaba.com
4HuaweiHuawei.com
5BaiduBaidu.com
6Alpha GroupgdAlpha.com
74399.com4399.com
8Yili GroupYili.com
9GeelyGeely.com
10XiaomiXiaomi.com
11China Central TelevisionCCTV.com
12ANT (Alipay)Alipay.com
13XindeyuanXindeyuan.com
14BytedanceBytedance.com
15Wisdom GroupYoujiazhenhao.cn
16VivoVivo.com
17MideaMidea.com
18Jialan GroupJala.com.cn
19DidiDidiChuxing.com
20Gongchi(not found)
21GreeGree.com
22Sheng Interest(not found)
23Ping AnPingAn.com
24Weiyu(not found)
25Saiyo(not found)
26MengniuMengniu.com
27Durian TechnologyLiuliankeji.com
28QiyiQiyi.com
29Dajia (Kuaishou)Kuaishou.com
30LuzhouLuzhou.com
31Caigang(not found)
32YoukuYouku.com
33OppoOppo.com
34Baolans(not found)
35Yuanqi ForestYuanqiSenlin.com
36Three FastMeituan.com
37First Automobile WorksFAW.com
38SF ExpressSF-Express.com
39Gestalt Health(not found)
40YangheYangheGlobal.com
41Great Wall MotorsGWM-global.com
42JiumuJomooGroup.com
43Jiezhi(not found)
44GomeGome.com.cn
45Disney (USA)Disney.com (USA)
46Xiao Dan Sister Network(not found)
47Townsend Pijian(not found)
48Sanrio (Japan)Sanrio.com (Japan)
49SinopharmSinopharm.com
50China UnicomChinaUnicom.com

Here are the results. 92% use .com and only 8% use .cn domains. No other extensions are involved. The median length of the names (excluding extension) is 6 characters and the majority (84%) are 10 characters or less.

29% of the domains are not brand-matching. For example, Great Wall Motors is known as GWM but its corporate domain is GWM-global.com, not GWM .com (developed). Another example is Alpha using gdAlpha.com, not Alpha .com (developed). An opportunity arises if you happen to own the upgrades for non-brand-matching domains.

Pinyin domains are most popular at 46%, followed by English-based domains at 35%. One company uses a numeric domain (4399.com), and three companies prefer acronyms: JD.com, FAW.com, and CCTV.com.

The fact that 10 out of the 50 companies could not be located is very telling. It shows that many Chinese companies still do not understand the importance of domains and making them visible in the digital world.

In short, invest in short Pinyin/English-based .com domains for end users in China.

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