ZB.com and its domain implication in corporate China
October 12, 2019 (Sat). LL (letter-letter) .com domains are made for China. They are prestigious, short, and easy to remember. Most importantly, they "speak" both Chinese and English.
In 2017, serial entrepreneur Will Hua (花松秀) launched Zhong Bi (中币=China Currency) as a cryptocurrency exchange now based in Hong Kong. Zhong Bi rose within a very short time to be ranked among the top 20 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It now serves investors in China, Asia, and the rest of the world.
What is the corporate domain of Zhong Bi? Not ZhongBi.com nor ZhongBi.cn but ZB.com (together with ZB.cn). The startup acquired ZB.com in 2017 for a reported 10 million yuan and then ZB.cn the next year for an undisclosed amount. Apparently, the company does not own ZhongBi.com and ZhongBi.cn. Currently, it's better known as ZB.com or simply ZB.
This shows the startup sees acronyms more important than Pinyin domains. Since founding, it has added many sub brands such as ZBG.com (ZB Global), ZBM.com (ZB Mega), and ZBHK.com (ZB Hong Kong). For brand protection, however, they should secure the necessary Pinyin domains if possible. Look at Jing Dong, the third largest internet company in the world according to Wikipedia. It uses JD.com but also owns JingDong.com which forwards visitors to JD.com.
As you can see, LL domains "speak" Chinese because they are acronyms for Pinyin names which are very Chinese, and 2-pin (two Pinyin words) is popular in corporate China. In the 2018 Top 100 Chinese Internet Companies Report, 78% of Pinyin names are 2-pin. LL domains also "speak" English because outside China they can be known as names each consisting of two English letters.
Smart investors understand this cultural preference and capitalize on it. Yue DAI (戴跃), the "Warren Buffett" in domain investment, has built a portfolio of 16 LL .com domains, many of which are also related to cryptocurrency such as OB.com (欧币=European currency), JB.com (金币=gold currency), and TB.com (淘币=currency hunting).
In short, LL .com domains have great future in corporate China. They will continue to flow to China and their prices will continue to rise over the long term.