September 28, 2019 (Sat). What is the Chinese name of the USA? What is common between Beijing and Shenzhen? What do Peking University and Tsinghua University share? Why is Alibaba also called Ali? Answers to these questions will reveal a secret about Chinese preference for domains.
The USA is called Mei Guo (美国) in Chinese. Similarly, UK is Ying Guo (英国) and France Fa Guo (法国). As you can see, each of the names uses two Pinyin words (or simply as "2-pin" in this article). Many countries in the world have 2-pin names in Chinese.
Beijing and Shenzhen are Chinese cities and they both have Pinyin names: Bei Jing (北京) and Shen Zhen (深圳). In fact, most Chinese cities adopt 2-pin names. Evidence? Among the top 100 Chinese cities published in 2018, 96% of them follow this rule.
Peking University (北京大学) and Tsinghua University (清华大学) are top schools in China, and they are commonly called Bei Da (北大) and Qing Hua (清华) respectively. This shows Chinese people don't like long names; they often shorten them to 2-pin names. Many top Chinese universities follow this rule.
This cultural element can also be seen in the commercial world. Alibaba's name is 4-pin A Li Ba Ba (阿里巴巴) but consumers just shorten it to A Li (阿里). This preference is reflected in many of Alibaba sub brands, such as Ali Mama (AliMama.com), Ali Cloud (AliCloud.com), Ali Sports (AliSports.com), and Ali Express (AliExpress.com).
If you are a keen observer of China, you'll see 2-pin names everywhere and the domain world is no exception. Among the 37 Pinyin-based brands in the 2018 Top 100 Chinese Internet Companies Report, 78% of them own 2-pin domains. So, what is the implication to domain investors? 2-pin is king in Pinyin domains. If you want to sell Pinyin domains to China, remember this rule.