Numeric Domains in Asia
As a follow up to our blog post discussing the explosive growth of the Internet in Asia, this week's post showcases the growing popularity of numeric domains in the same region, in particular China. On a daily basis, many of HEXONET's Asian clients register numeric domains. At first glance, these domains may just look like random numbers, but as you might suspect, many have historical and cultural meaning behind them. Lets take a look.
What Exactly is a Numeric Domain?
Numeric domains are domain names consisting of numbers only. In North America, an example would be www.007.com or www.411.com Many people will associate the former with the popular fictional character James Bond and the latter with telephone directory assistance.
Why are Numeric Domains Popular in China?
Asians and in particular Chinese have a long cultural history with numerology. As a result, numbers have significant meaning for the average individual. Since the number 6 represents good luck and the number 8 represents fortune, license plates, telephone numbers and home addresses with these numbers are highly prized. So important are such numbers that even the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony was coordinated to commence at 8PM on August 8, 2008. Incidentally, the number 4 is an inauspicious number as it sounds like the word death in Chinese and is looked down upon. Other numbers like 51 sound like "I want", which is why 51job.com is one of the most popular websites for jobseekers in China.
Numeric domains are also universal. Some would argue that numeric domains are the ultimate IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) as numbers are understood across all languages. In China, entire brands are built on such numbers. For example, 163.com (ranked #6 in terms of website traffic in China) is the website of Internet giant Netease.
What are Popular Websites in China with Numeric Domains?
56.com is the largest video sharing website in China.
4399.com is a hugely popular gaming website.
51.la is very popular site that features website traffic statistics.
The Aftermarket for Numeric Domains
The aftermarket for numeric domains is definitely growing. According to DN Journal, two of the top 100 domain sales in 2010 were numeric domains. The domain 029.com sold for $110,000 and another domain 027.com sold for $100,000. The largest domain selling platform in China, 4.CN is now the leading numeric domain reseller in the world!
HEXONET looks forward to seeing further growth in this specialized domain segment. If you have any insights into numeric domains in your own country, we would love to hear your feedback.