Fortune China 100 reveals domains wanted by corporate China

Study this list to understand what types of domains large Chinese companies prefer.

Picture of a laptop computer with a red ball with the Chinese emblem on it

I’ve been diligently studying the Fortune China 100 list because these large companies can tell us what domains end users in China want to acquire.

Recently, I started with the Fortune China list and then used Baidu and Google to locate the corporate domains these large companies use. Here are the results of my research covering the last three years.

Extension 2019 2020 2021
.com 72% 71% 70%
.cn 25% 26% 27%

.com and .cn together account for over 95% of all the domains. This means you need to focus on these two top level domains if you want to sell domains to end users in China.

Obviously, .com is the number one choice and this preference remained consistent over the last three years. Note that .com domains are widely used within China and .cn domains only play a secondary role, which is also evident in the next table.

.cn 2019 2020 2021
Not resolve 51% 55% 54%
Developed 34% 33% 33%
Forward 4% 3% 4%
For sale 7% 7% 7%

Less than 35% of the corresponding .cn domains are actually put to use by the companies. This confirms my observation that it’s a .com world in corporate China.

Length 2019 2020 2021
Medium 7 7 7
<=10 84 83 82

Chinese companies like short names. The medium length of the domains (name only, excluding the extension) is consistently 7 characters, and over 80% of them are 10 characters or less.

Language 2019 2020 2021
English 44% 44% 43%
Acronym 31% 31% 31%
Mixed 19% 18% 19%
Pinyin 6% 6% 6%
Numeric 0% 1% 1%

Surprisingly, English (but not Pinyin-based) domains are most popular. Some examples are ChinaMobile.com, EverGrande.com, and Midea.com. Mixed type domains consist of different language types, such as ZijinMining.com (Pinyin, English), CMBchina.com (acronym, English), and CMSK1979.com (acronym, numeric).

Matching 2019 2020 2021
yes 54% 47% 49%

About half of the domains are not brand-matching, which implies that there are opportunities to sell domains as upgrades to corporate China. Some examples are China Life (e-ChinaLife.com), Greenland (GreenlandSC.com), and China National Building Material (CNBMltd.com).

In summary, English-based .com domains will continue to be sought after in corporate China.

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