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Believe it or not, the stories of figures like Jack Ma and Richard Liu are quite familiar to us. Their paths to success have been widely covered. But have you ever heard about their interactions with domain names? Today, we'll delve into th
Believe it or not, the stories of figures like Jack Ma and Richard Liu are quite familiar to us. Their paths to success have been widely covered. But have you ever heard about their interactions with domain names? Today, we'll delve into the stories of ten prominent figures in China's business world and see what interesting events have occurred between them and domain names.
1. **Jack Ma**: alibaba.com
The talented and visionary Jack Ma, who started with only 500,000 RMB, believed that his company should have an international perspective for the future. He wanted a powerful and globally recognizable name. While in the United States on a business trip, he recalled the story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" from "One Thousand and One Nights" during a meal. From the US to India, from abroad to China, after consulting various people, he decided that "Alibaba" would be the perfect name for his company.
However, the domain name "alibaba.com" had already been registered by a Canadian. He offered to sell it for $10,000, a hefty sum in those days. To secure the name, Jack Ma promptly registered "alibaba-online.com" and "alibabaonline.com" within a month. The Chinese version of the website was named "阿里巴巴" (Alibaba).
Jack Ma had a strong attachment to alibaba.com and sought advice from Yahoo executive Daniel Zhang. Zhang encouraged him to buy it, saying the price was too cheap for a company with international aspirations. Heeding this advice, Jack Ma transferred $10,000 to the Canadian seller's account and secured the alibaba.com domain name.
When Jack Ma purchased alibaba.com for $10,000, the Canadian seller, who had thought they had struck gold, could not have anticipated that the startup from 20 years ago would grow into a publicly listed corporation with a market value of over $52.35 billion.
2. **Pony Ma**: QQ.com
Tencent initially used the brand name "OICQ" and registered domain names oicq.com and oicq.net for their Chinese version of ICQ. However, due to legal issues, they had to change the name. When they started their journey into the e-commerce field in 2004, they adopted a new domain name, 360buy.com, which later became "京东" (JD.com), their main e-commerce platform.
Pony Ma's early ventures faced legal challenges. He navigated through these by acquiring and changing domain names. Tencent's QQ service faced lawsuits from AOL and eventually rebranded as QQ.com.
In 1995, Robert Hunziker, a software engineer from the US, registered the qq.com domain name. After Tencent's legal battles, Pony Ma and his team successfully negotiated the purchase of the qq.com domain name from Hunziker for a price lower than the initial asking price of $2 million.
3. **Ding Lei**: 163.com
Ding Lei, the founder of Netease, used his experience in the telecommunications industry to his advantage. He developed a keen sense for domain names and recognized their importance. In 1997, while creating a browser-based free email system, he sought a catchy domain name that Chinese users could easily remember.
In September 1997, Ding Lei had an epiphany. He realized that Chinese users could easily remember numeric domain names, especially those containing numbers like 163 and 169, which already had connections to Chinanet, telecommunications, and the internet in China. Ding Lei promptly registered 163.com and other numeric domains, harnessing the familiarity and unique phonetics of these numbers in China.
Ding Lei's sensitivity to numbers was shaped by his experience in the telecommunications industry. This sensitivity led him to create Netease, which grew from a small team to a company with a market value of 44.166 billion USD.
4. **Richard Liu**: JD.com
Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong, founded JD.com in 1998, initially selling magneto-optical products. As JD.com expanded into the e-commerce field, Liu Qiangdong was determined to secure relevant domain names that matched the brand's identity.
Initially using jdlaser.com, JD.com later adopted 360buy.com as its main domain name. However, realizing the importance of a memorable and concise domain name, Liu Qiangdong secured jd.com, which seamlessly aligned with the brand's identity. Liu Qiangdong's emphasis on domain names is evident in JD.com's acquisition of premium domain names like 3.cn and jd.com.cn, which contribute to the company's strong online presence.
5. **Lei Jun**: mi.com
Lei Jun, the driving force behind Xiaomi, recognized the value of domain names from the outset. In 2010, he founded Xiaomi, and over the years, he strategically acquired domain names to support the company's growth.
Xiaomi's international expansion prompted the purchase of mi.com, a premium domain name that perfectly aligned with the brand. This acquisition allowed Xiaomi to strengthen its online presence and international recognition. Lei Jun's dedication to securing the right domain names demonstrates their role in bolstering a brand's identity and reach.
6. **Zhou Hongyi**: 360.com
Zhou Hongyi, the founder of Qihoo 360, revolutionized the Chinese internet security industry. Recognizing the importance of domain names, Zhou Hongyi pursued strategic acquisitions that reinforced the brand's identity.
Qihoo 360's journey involved domain name changes, starting with qihoo.com and progressing to 360safe.com. Zhou Hongyi's commitment to domain names culminated in the acquisition of 360.com for a significant investment. This premium domain name provided Qihoo 360 with a powerful online presence that matched the brand's stature in the cybersecurity industry.
7. **Li Bin**: bitauto.com
Li Bin, the founder of Bitauto, understood the potential of domain names early on. Bitauto's journey began in 2000 as a leading automotive media group in China. Li Bin recognized the value of domain names for branding and secured bitauto.com, a domain name that perfectly represented the company's focus on the automotive industry.
Bitauto's strategic domain name acquisitions, including "淘车" (taoche.com) and "惠买车" (huimaiche.com), underscored Li Bin's commitment to optimizing domain names to support the brand's growth.
8. **Yao Jinbo**: 端午节.cn
Yao Jinbo, known for his leadership at 58.com, ventured into the domain name world to protect traditional Chinese culture. When the domain name "端午节.cn" was registered by a Korean company, Yao Jinbo recognized the importance of safeguarding this domain name related to the Dragon Boat Festival.
Yao Jinbo negotiated the purchase of "端午节.cn" and successfully acquired it for an undisclosed amount. His efforts to protect traditional Chinese culture by securing relevant domain names exemplify the role of domain names in preserving and promoting cultural heritage.
9. **Cai Wensheng**: FM365.com
Cai Wensheng, a prominent figure in the domain name investment landscape, demonstrated his ability to navigate the competitive domain name market. His meticulous approach to domain name acquisition involved leveraging technical knowledge and precise timing to secure valuable domain names.
Cai Wensheng's acquisition of "FM365.com" demonstrated his attention to detail and strategic
thinking. The domain name's connection to FM radio aligned with Cai Wensheng's vision, showcasing how domain names can be harnessed for specialized ventures.
10. **Chen Tianqiao**: Shanda.com
Chen Tianqiao, the visionary behind Shanda Interactive Entertainment, recognized the significance of domain names in the digital realm. Shanda's journey in online gaming and interactive entertainment was enhanced by Chen Tianqiao's strategic domain name choices.
Securing shanda.com enabled the brand to establish a strong online presence and foster a seamless connection with its audience. Chen Tianqiao's emphasis on domain names contributed to Shanda's success in the digital entertainment landscape.
These stories showcase the importance of domain names in branding, recognition, and the overall success of businesses. From Jack Ma's strategic purchase of alibaba.com to Lei Jun's acquisition of mi.com, these entrepreneurs understood that domain names are not merely online addresses; they are critical assets that shape a brand's identity and digital footprint. The tales of these business leaders and their interactions with domain names provide valuable insights into the strategic considerations that drive successful ventures in the digital age.
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