Does it matter whether a numeric domain has Chinese meaning?

November 30, 2019 (Sat). When I write about numeric domains sold, I often explore their meanings in Chinese. However, do numeric domains have to have Chinese meanings for end users in China to adopt them?

Recently, I wrote about the sale of for $120,000 to a Chinese buyer. In my post, I used the rhyming method to create a Chinese meaning for the domain: Li Wu Li Li (礼物里里 = lots of gifts). Some numeric domains used in corporate China do have good meanings. For example, owned by Alibaba rhymes with Pinyin Yi Lu Fa Fa (一路发发 = making a fortune all the way).

However, sometimes numeric domains are used without any apparent Chinese meanings. A good source for this study is the 2018 Top 100 Chinese Internet Companies Report (2018年中国互联网企业100强分析报告). It lists the following top companies using numeric domains: (, (, 37 Games (, 4399 (, and Chuang Lan 253 ( I checked their websites but found no meanings in the domains.

This shows numeric domains can be used in corporate China without meanings. However, they do share some common characteristics: (1) They are short and up to 4N only, (2) They use the .com extension. Note that the longer a numeric domain is, the more difficult it becomes to remember the domain.

So, the takeaway is that to sell numeric domains to end users in China, they must be short .com domains.

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