After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

Industry Information 24 Aug 2023 06:17:30 AM By:DN platform editor
Abstract:

"China is still some distance away from the information superhighway. It's about 1500 meters north."In 1995, at Beijing's Zhongguancun, a massive billboard gave birth to a classic memory in China's internet history.

"China is still some distance away from the information superhighway. It's about 1500 meters north."

In 1995, at Beijing's Zhongguancun, a massive billboard gave birth to a classic memory in China's internet history.

After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

The mention of 1500 meters north pointed to China's first internet company - Yinghaiwei, the transliteration of 'information highway'. The web address ihw.com.cn is no longer accessible today, but back in those days, it was hailed as the 'first major Chinese website'. However, the internet world changed rapidly and soon overwhelmed Yinghaiwei.

In 1994, China became the 77th country globally to access the internet. The stage was set for a surge of online ventures.

In 1997, Ding Lei founded NetEase in Guangzhou; Sina, originally called 'Four-Way Universal', gained popularity through the post titled 'No Tears for Jinzhou' and Wang Juntao, an unknown figure at the time, established 8848, China's earliest e-commerce website. While Ma Yun (Jack Ma) faced rejections in Beijing, a chance encounter with Yang Zhiyuan during his first trip to China led to a billion-dollar deal after a visit to the Great Wall and a view of the Yangtze River.

In 1996, Zhang Chaoyang spent 20,000 RMB to set up a server on the newly constructed backbone network, marking China's first commercial hosting server. He then launched China's first Chinese search engine and the earliest portal website - sohu.com, which soared to prominence.

By 1999, Zhang Chaoyang not only appeared on the Hurun Rich List but also made it to TIME Magazine's "50 Global Digital Heroes", alongside Bill Gates, as the "Father of China's Internet".

In July 2000, Sohu was listed on NASDAQ with a market value of $490 million. Yet, despite reaching the zenith, it struggled to find its way. Sohu pioneered self-produced dramas in videos but faced competition from newcomers like Youku and iQiyi; in the realm of news apps, Sohu was an early starter and gained an advantage through pre-installs, yet it was overtaken by Toutiao and Tencent News.

By this time, the internet era had gradually invaded our daily lives. The creative domain name sohu.com could no longer fulfill user needs; they required something simpler and more memorable.

In 1999, Ma Yun applied to become the Chief Operating Officer at Sohu but lost to Gu Yongqiang. Despite this setback, he gathered "Eighteen Arhats" on the fifth day of the Chinese New Year and began his journey with Alibaba.

After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

When deciding on the name "Alibaba", Ma Yun wanted to register the domain name alibaba.com. However, a Canadian had already registered it. Even though Ma Yun was financially constrained in the early days of his venture, he still purchased alibaba.com for a whopping $3000, starting the legend of Alibaba.

In February of that year, Ma Huateng (Pony Ma) set up the framework for QQ in a dance studio. Inspired by Zhang Chaoyang's passionate speech in Shenzhen, he resolved to venture into business. In tough times, he even contemplated selling QQ to Sohu for 3 million RMB. Zhang Chaoyang thought that something a few university students could create was worth at most 600,000 RMB. As a result, the opportunity to possess the empire of social media slipped through their fingers.

At the end of the year, Li Yanhong (Robin Li) finally managed to catch a flight back to China. Amid the pressures from Sohu and Google, Baidu emerged with its brand domain name baidu.com.

In 1999, Zhonghua Net became China's first internet company, marked by its unique domain name China.com and the stock code "China". Thanks to the promotion of the concept of China's internet and domain names, Zhonghua Net swiftly became a darling of the capital market. The key to Zhonghua Net's soaring success lay in its dazzling national-level domain name - China.com. Additionally, Zhonghua Net had other domain names like Hongkong.com and Taiwan.com.

After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

Unfortunately, Zhonghua Net faced operational difficulties and filed for bankruptcy in October 2011. Its stock trading was suspended. However, Zhonghua Net was subsequently acquired twice by large companies, emphasizing the immeasurable value of China.com. What was once a domain name worth a few hundred thousand RMB in 1998 is now valued at over tens of millions, a hundredfold increase. This underscores the crucial importance of selecting a good domain name for a company.

In June 1999, the "Harvard prodigy" Shao Yibo founded "EachNet". Operating with the domain name eachnet.com, it became China's first C2C platform, rising with its innovative model of direct transactions between buyers and sellers.

By 2003, EachNet held 80% of China's C2C market. However, due to personal reasons, Shao Yibo sold EachNet to the global e-commerce giant eBay for $225 million.

In May 2003, Alibaba secretly established taobao.com and challenged EachNet. In July, after acquiring EachNet, Alibaba announced it would end the war in China's e-commerce within 18 months.

This ignited a massive e-commerce battle. Both sides confronted each other on numerous fronts. Yet, with its multiple phonetic domain names, Alibaba still held

the advantage.

In 2005, eBay, despite its financial might, decided to spend $100 million to compete with Taobao. At a critical juncture, Yahoo, which had previously invested $1 billion to overpower Sina, offered a billion dollars to Alibaba. Ma Yun, however, nonchalantly stated, "The game is almost over, competing with eBay no longer interests me."

In 2006, eBay moved its servers back to the US, completely withdrawing from China. With 1888 domain names in its possession, Alibaba started to rise.

Around the same time, social networking services (SNS) began to emerge.

In Renren (Xiaonei), Kaixin001, and Baisheshi, white-collar workers were fascinated with finding classmates, claiming parking spots, and stealing vegetables. However, intense social interaction eventually led to fatigue. In all matters, Tencent's two-letter domain QQ.com stood strong.

In 2010, Sina Weibo achieved over 100 million users due to the influential double-pinyin domain weibo.com, ushering in China's microblogging era.

After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

At the same time, "Zhongguancun's model worker" Lei Jun experienced his own ups and downs.

In October 2007, after 19 years of entrepreneurship and eight years of challenges, Kingsoft Corporation, the "national banner," was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a market value of HKD 5.3 billion.

A month later, Alibaba, also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, exceeded a market value of $20 billion.

A chastened Lei Jun finally grasped the truth of "flying pigs": to achieve great success, one must find the wind that makes pigs fly.

In April 2010, Lei Jun started Xiaomi and adopted the user-friendly double-pinyin domain name xiaomi.com for domestic promotion. He set a lofty goal: to create a billion-dollar company.

In October 2010, a social app named "Kik" suddenly gained popularity, capturing three million users in a month. Lei Jun realized this was an opportunity to enter the mobile internet arena.

37 days later, China's first Kik-like product, "Mimi Chat," was released.

Around the same time, late one night, Zhang Xiaolong emailed Ma Huateng, suggesting creating a similar product. On January 21, 2011, WeChat was launched, just 40 days after Mimi Chat.

Tencent's extensive domain empire ultimately tipped the balance in favor of WeChat. In 2012, WeChat's user count exceeded one hundred million, and it began to dominate.

Soon, Lei Jun stopped competing with Mimi Chat, as he focused on manufacturing phones. In 2014, Xiaomi's phone sales surpassed 60 million units, making it China's top brand. This inspired LeEco, 360, and others to enter the market. With the smartphone market heating up, having a good domain name became crucial.

In April 2014, Xiaomi adopted the new domain name mi.com, redirecting its old domain xiaomi.com. Lei Jun explained the change was to align with Xiaomi's international strategy and dubbed mi.com "probably the most expensive domain name in Chinese internet history."

As innovation deepened, the tough Huawei entered the spotlight.

After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!

In 2003, Huawei started producing phones, but its survival depended on custom orders. Huawei initially intended to sell its phone division. However, the 2008 financial crisis and low offers from buyers provoked Ren Zhengfei's anger. He not only decided against selling but also vowed to make Huawei the "number one" in smartphones.

Quality is developed through research and development, adversity forges individuals, and brands accumulate through domain names and promotion. Huawei's official website uses the brand's double-pinyin domain name Huawei.com, a domain name easy for domestic users to remember and highly recognizable. Related domain names like Huawei.cn and Huawei.com.cn are also protected.

Additionally, Huawei holds numerous domain names related to "huawei," "hw," and "华为," such as huaweicloud.com (Huawei Cloud), huaweiuniversity.com (Huawei University), huaweisupport.com (Huawei Support), huaweistore.com (Huawei Store), hwpan.com (Huawei Drive), and more. Companies that value domain names and domain protection can preserve their brand reputation, thereby gaining more opportunities for business expansion and traffic influx.

In 2014, the opportunity came. Breakthroughs in chip technology eliminated Huawei's concerns about the "internet phone" supply chain. In 2018, Huawei's phone sales surpassed 200 million, making it the indisputable leader in China and second in the world.

Seizing opportunities with keen insight prevents one from being left behind by the times' train. This is the history of China's internet and also a history of domain names. As user numbers increase, users drive websites to improve, and domain names continue to evolve.

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After 25 years of development,domain names are also constantly iterating.The Chinese Internet legend will never sleep!