EnglishDotCom may be the best domain strategy for Chinese startups
June 15, 2019 (Sat). Chinese startups today are blessed. They are riding two tidal waves which can quickly propel them to the global arena, but going global requires a careful consideration of the domain strategy.
What are the two tidal waves? The first one is the "One Belt One Road" initiative started in 2013 to connect China to the world. The initiative has already reached 68 countries and still more are joining. This massive flow of goods, capital, and human resources makes it natural for Chinese startups to go global.
The second tidal wave is the internet. This global infrastructure enables any startup to connect with designers, bankers, manufacturers, shippers, and of course consumers anywhere in the world. Therefore, many Chinese startups will take advantage of such resources and go global.
To become a global player, however, you need a brand and its matching domain which are easy to remember around the world. In this respect, EnglishDotCom may be the best strategy because English is the global language and .com the de facto global extension. This approach requires the least effort for people of diverse cultures to remember your brand and its matching domain.
Chinese startups have another advantage. The .com extension is already well established and many major brands use .com domains inside China too. BAT, the three internet giants in China, own Baidu.com, Alibaba.com, and Tencent.com respectively. Also, the top 100 Chinese internet companies in 2018 show the same trend, where a whopping 86% adopt .com and 36% are based on English words -- for example NetEase, KingSoft, and AutoHome.
In short, EnglishDotCom may be the best domain strategy because it enables Chinese startups to function well both inside and outside China.
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