OBOR, brand, and branded domain name

July 15, 2017 (Sat). A recent news story has caused me to think about the future of domain names. The US recently changed its position and attended the One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit held in May; Japan also sent a team to this Beijing event. The meaning is significant. Until recently, the US and Japan were strong backers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone in the region. Joining the Chinese initiative indicates that One Belt One Road is on the road to success. This will have far-reaching impact and failure to get on this train will mean lots of missed opportunities.

The first wave of OBOR is already rewarding businesses in infrastructure areas such as railways, roads, harbor construction, electricity, steel, and building materials. As the ripples travel, more industries will benefit and Chinese companies will enjoy even more global opportunities. However, to become a global player, each Chinese company must own a global brand and its branded domain name.

At present, there are 77 million companies but only 4.8 million websites in China, indicating many Chinese companies have yet to acquire domain names. Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Internet +, and the OBOR initiatives will only further raise the potential demand for domain names. It is, therefore, obvious that premium domain names will become very expensive. In the corporate world, .brand lacks momentum and .com is the only global extension.

Chinese internet giants own their global brand: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. They also own their branded domain name:, and Although Baidu is a Pinyin name popular in China, because its English pronunciation is easy, it can be used overseas. These domain names are premium, short and catchy, and easy to remember. They help promote brands and bring in a lot of visitors to their websites.

Demand for .com is global. It is the prime commercial area within the digital "real estate," with prices rising over the long term. Understanding this trend, CEOs should get their brand matching .com as soon as possible. Also, for CEOs with vision and unused capital, they can acquire premium domain names to prepare for future brands.

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