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A few years ago, the internet industry was booming, and traffic was cheaper compared to now. There was a lot of potential in the industry, and domain acquisition prices were not cheap.
A few years ago, the internet industry was booming, and traffic was cheaper compared to now. There was a lot of potential in the industry, and domain acquisition prices were not cheap. Here's a list of 10 high-priced domain acquisitions. Each of them was a highly sought-after domain, and some websites have disappeared from the public eye, while others have thrived. Let's take a look at the stories from those years.
1. JD.com Acquired for 30 Million by JD
JD.com is undoubtedly a veteran in the domestic e-commerce industry. However, its old domain, 360buy.com, didn't have any special significance in the industry. In fact, it was considered somewhat ordinary, consisting of Arabic numerals and English letters. Seeing the advertising and traffic value of a short domain, JD decided to spend 30 million to acquire JD.com, causing quite a sensation in the industry (IT and e-commerce). In the history of China's internet, JD's acquisition of the JD.com domain for 30 million unquestionably secured the top spot in the domestic "high-priced domain" list.
2. Xiaomi Acquired mi.com for 22.43 Million
Xiaomi smartphones are often referred to as "China's Apple." Their quality and user experience are among the best in the domestic smartphone market. Xiaomi's marketing strategy, inspired by Apple, and its implementation of "hunger marketing" garnered significant attention and revenue from Chinese consumers. It was this success that allowed Xiaomi to acquire the short domain mi.com at a high price.
Xiaomi's co-founder, Lei Jun, recently confirmed on Weibo that the price for this domain transaction was 3.6 million USD, approximately 22.43 million RMB. Lei Jun also mentioned on Weibo that Xiaomi's new domain was "extremely expensive" and possibly the most expensive domain in the history of the Chinese internet. However, after extensive data collection, it was discovered that its price was not the most expensive in the history of the Chinese internet, but rather one of the pricier domains.
3. Wowo Tuan Acquired 55.com for 15 Million
Three years ago, the domestic group-buying industry was booming, with major players such as Meituan, LaShou, and Wowo Tuan leading the way. Wowo Tuan reportedly acquired the domain 55.com for 15 million RMB during that time.
4. Vipshop Acquired vip.com for 12 Million
On October 15, 2013, Vipshop, a domestic flash sale e-commerce platform, acquired the premium domain VIP.COM. The purchase price was rumored to be in the tens of millions of RMB. Vipshop's current official website domain is VIPSHOP.COM, registered in January 2003, and has been renewed until 2020. According to industry insiders, Vipshop acquired the vip.com domain for a high price in the tens of millions of RMB.
5. Sina Weibo Acquired weibo.com for 8 Million
Sina Weibo, a prominent player in China's microblogging scene, wanted to seize an advantage. On April 7, 2011, Sina Weibo officially started using the independent domain weibo.com and concurrently updated its logo, reportedly spending 8 million RMB for the domain.
6. 360 Search Acquired so.com for 4 Million
360 Search, shortly after its launch, officially announced the launch of its new independent domain, so.com. The previously used domains 360sou.com and 360so.com would now redirect to this domain. According to the responsible person at Qihoo 360, the domain was acquired for several million RMB.
7. 3G Portal Acquired 3G.cn for 3 Million
The domain "3G.CN" has been acquired by 3G Portal, one of the largest free WAP websites in China. Insiders revealed that the transaction price was at least 3 million RMB. While the registration fee for a domain is only a hundred RMB per year, premium domains often sell for tens of thousands or even millions of RMB.
8. Tencent Acquired qq.com for 3 Million
Tencent, a pioneer in China's instant messaging, was lagging behind competitors like NetEase, Sohu, and Sina in the portal sector. As a result, the short domain qq.com had already been registered by others. When Tencent decided to expand into the portal business, they had to acquire the qq.com domain for a high price of 3 million RMB.
9. Smartisan Technology Acquired t.tt for 2 Million
At the Smartisan T1 smartphone launch event, the official website domain for the T1, t.tt, sparked controversy due to its usage. Regarding the t.tt domain, many were curious about its price. "All I can reveal is that Luo Yonghao is not short of money," said Guo Xiufeng. "I reached an agreement with Smartisan Technology, selling it to them for a good price in early May 2014." Although the seller remained tight-lipped about the transaction price, insiders disclosed that Luo Yonghao may have paid around 2 million RMB for the domain t.tt.
10. SouFun Acquired fang.com for 750,000 RMB
On July 18, 2014, SouFun officially launched the single-letter domain "fang.com," which they had previously acquired at a high price, and renamed it "Fang Tian Xia" (Fang World). At the same time, it was reported that SouFun had spent an additional 750,000 RMB to protect fang.com.cn.
In reviewing the top 10 "high-priced domains" in China, JD.com led the list with the acquisition of JD.com for 300 million RMB, followed by Xiaomi's acquisition of mi.com for 22.43 million RMB in second place. The less prosperous Wawatuan secured third place with the 15 million RMB acquisition of the numeric domain 55.com.
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