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Just yesterday, Kuaishou sued Douyin and demanded 5 million yuan in compensation! Recently, the Beijing Haidian Court accepted this case. So, what happened exactly? It turns out that Kuaishou discovered that when the words "Kuaishou" were e
Just yesterday, Kuaishou sued Douyin and demanded 5 million yuan in compensation! Recently, the Beijing Haidian Court accepted this case. So, what happened exactly? It turns out that Kuaishou discovered that when the words "Kuaishou" were entered in the third-party app store "360 Mobile Assistant," the first search result was not for the "Kuaishou" product. Instead, the top search result was the "Douyin Short Video" app, marked with a "Promotion" label to the right of the application name. Clicking on this search result would install and allow normal use of the "Douyin Short Video" app.
The plaintiff, Kuaishou Company, believed that the defendant's act of setting "Kuaishou" as a paid keyword constituted typical acts of "confusing others' product names" and "free-riding," which amounted to unfair competition. This behavior also harmed Kuaishou Company's exclusive trademark rights, thus constituting trademark infringement.
Kuaishou and Douyin are the two giants in the domestic short video field, both aiming to become the industry leader. Behind the scenes, they have been engaged in covert competition, and now it has come out into the open. Let's take a look at what domain names these short video platforms are using!
Kuaishou is a product of Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., Ltd. It was founded in March 2011 and was initially a mobile app used for creating and sharing GIF images. At that time, it was called "GIF Kuaishou," and its domain name was gifshow.com. In 2014, it was officially renamed "Kuaishou," and the following year, the brand domain name was changed to the double-spelled kuaishou.com. Kuaishou also protected related domains such as kuaishou.cn/.cc.
In June 2018, Kuaishou acquired the bullet screen website Acfun, and its official domain name, Acfun.cn, also became Kuaishou's property. We can see that although Kuaishou's early domain name strategy appeared somewhat weak, as it grew, the awareness of choosing and protecting brand domain names gradually strengthened. However, Kuaishou's current portfolio of brand domain names is not yet complete. If they could also protect domain names like kuai.com that are associated with the "Kuaishou" brand, it's believed that having a variety of brand domain names would enhance precise access to the website for users and make it more difficult for competitors to engage in malicious infringement or unfair actions.
Douyin, a short video platform focused on music for young people, was incubated by ByteDance, the same company that developed TikTok. The software was launched in September 2016 under the name A.me, with the official website using the 5-letter domain name amemv.com. It wasn't until the spring of 2017 that it became Douyin and adopted the double-spelled domain name douyin.com. This domain name was revealed to be acquired by Douyin in June 2017. Later in November 2017, ByteDance acquired the North American music short video social platform Musical.ly for $1 billion, merging the overseas version of Douyin with Musical.ly to form TikTok for the international market. The international version of Douyin's official website domain name became tiktok.com.
On January 15, 2019, Douyin released a new short video social product called "Duoshan" and used the double-spelled domain name duoshan.com as its official website domain. In January 2020, Douyin merged with Huoshan Xiaoshipin (known as Huoshan Video) and renamed it Douyin Huoshan Version. The official domain name of Huoshan Xiaoshipin was also changed. From using a 5-letter domain name to adopting double-spelled domain names, Douyin's domain name strategy has shown remarkable progress. Leveraging the support of its parent company, ByteDance, Douyin has continued the tradition of making strong choices in brand domain names. A reverse lookup of douyin.com's registration email reveals that it also holds several other valuable domain names, such as bytedance.com/.net/.cc, huoshan.tv, ixigua.com, doushuo.com/.com.cn.
Miaopai, introduced by Xuan Yi Xia (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. in 2011, is a powerful short video tool and community platform that combines watching, shooting, editing, and sharing. In July 2014, the official domain name miaopai.com was officially launched.
Miaopai has also protected related domain names like miaopai.net. However, unfortunately, it doesn't own the double-spelled domain names miaopai.cn/com.cn. The company also operates another short video application called "Xiao Ka Xiu," which uses the brand's full-spelled domain name xiaokaxiu.com. It also protects domain names like xiaokaxiu.cn/.net and xiaoka.tv.
Weishi, a short video sharing mobile application developed by Tencent in 2013, experienced a shutdown in April 2017 but was officially relaunched in April 2018. Weishi's official website domain name, weishi.com, was acquired by Tencent from domain expert Cai Wensheng for a rumored price of 3 million yuan.
Meipai, under the ownership of Meitu Inc., is a platform for live streaming and creating short videos. It was launched in May 2014, and its official website domain name is meipai.com. Meitu Inc. also owns the domain name MV.com, which is easier to remember and type compared to meipai.com. Additionally, MV is well-known to the public and carries a clear meaning. It's suggested that using MV.com instead of meipai.com could enhance Meipai's visibility and market share.
Although Meipai only holds the brand domain name meipai.com, Meitu Inc. has protected various other "mei"-related domain names like meitie.com, meituphone.com, meitufans.com, and others. Beyond the short video platforms listed above, there are many more players in the industry, including Pear Video (pearvideo.com), Dou Pai (doupai.cc), Xiao Ying (xiaoying.tv), You Liao (youliao.xunlei.com), and more.
From a comprehensive perspective, most of the well-known domestic short video platforms have chosen phonetic domain names that resonate with Chinese users. This is determined by a combination of factors such as regional culture and language environment. To better attract users, these platforms must cater to their preferences, and domain names naturally need to align with their input habits.
Although data shows that the scale of the mobile internet has surpassed traditional PC usage and people are accessing information more through convenient mobile devices, as illustrated by the recent court case between Kuaishou and Douyin, your search keywords might be "promoted
" by competitors, your online store could be closed, your public account might be suspended, and your app could be removed from stores. Only domain names provide a unique, third-party-independent entry point on the internet.
For this reason, many large enterprises continue to invest in and register domain names, indicating that the significance of domain names remains unchanged. In their eyes, domain names and their websites are the foundation.
In the world of the internet, domain names are a powerful tool for enhancing a company's competitiveness, and their role is not to be underestimated. A good domain name not only serves as a unique identifier for a company but also greatly contributes to boosting website traffic and attracting users. In the current context of intense capital competition in the short video industry, in order to stand out, companies must not only increase the appeal of their content and achieve commercial conversions, but they must also possess a precise vision and a long-term strategic plan for selecting and protecting domain names.
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