Sedo On Wired: “Is the U.S. Lagging Behind China’s ‘Domain Savvy’?”

Kathy Nielsen, VP of Business Development for new gTLDs at, did an article on Wired debating if the U.S. is lagging behind China in domain names.

My main concern about this article is that a lot of the conclusions are based on this Sedo study that I wrote about last week that is based on an unknown sample. How were these 1,150 individuals that participated in the study were selected and what do they represent?

Here are a few excerpts from the article:“In 2009, change began at an ICANN meeting in Seoul, South Korea, where Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) were approved for use in country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). This is the portion to the right of the dot in an Internet domain name that indicates a country or territory such as .CA for Canada or .中国, which is an IDN that stands for China. In 2011, taking domains one step further, ICANN introduced a new Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program, opening Internet addresses to almost any generic word or text to the right of the dot in Latin or non-Latin characters. This year, these new gTLDs started to join the existing generic gTLDs such as .com, .net and .org.”

“During the initial application period in 2012, companies called registries could apply to run their own gTLDs for everything from .app to .music to .游戏 meaning .game in Chinese. These aspiring registries applied for a total of 116 non-Latin script gTLDs. Seventy-three of those were in Chinese characters. This spring, as many of the new domain extensions began hitting the market, the first live auction for .在线 (Dot Chinese Online) and .中文网 (Dot Chinese Website) domain names raised nearly $200,000.”

“The Chinese market has been quick to adopt the new gTLDs, and to say it is on the cutting edge of domain savvy is an understatement. Findings from a recent study conducted by Sedo, a premium domain service provider and marketplace, support this trend even further. The data, collected from more than 1,150 individuals from the United States, United Kingdom, China and Germany, shows that China is leading the pack when it comes to awareness of new gTLDs and has a much more positive outlook for their long-term success.

On the flipside, the U.S. was the country least aware of new gTLDs, and the stateside sentiment is a bit conflicted. Nearly half of those surveyed in the U.S. say that domain names are “very important” to their business – the highest percentage out of all participating countries – and yet the findings also indicate that they know and care less about domain names.

Let’s take a closer look at some comparisons:

  • When discussing gTLD awareness, 54% of U.S. respondents said they were “unaware” versus only 4% in China.
  • The. U.S. is more skeptical of new gTLDs – 56% said they are a good idea vs. 86% in China.
  • Marketers in the U.S. appear to be especially skeptical about the launch of new gTLDs when compared to other groups. 75% of marketers in the U.S. say that the new TLDs would make the Internet more confusing, a belief held by only 43% of all respondents globally.
  • China is outpacing the U.S. in usage of new gTLDs. 72% of Chinese respondents have seen gTLDs in use despite the fact that they just began to launch at the beginning of 2014. Compare this to only 21% in the U.S.
  • 46% of Chinese respondents have considered purchasing a gTLD and only 1% would definitely not purchase one. Meanwhile in the U.S., only 7% have considered purchasing a gTLD and 28% would never purchase one.”

“So why is China so far ahead of the curve with acceptance and understanding of these new domains? It’s a safe assumption that IDNs are filling a strong market need for domains names in a country’s local language and in turn generating increased awareness. What will it take for that kind of adoption and understanding to take place in the U.S.?”


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Domain Observer

    Needless to say, COM is king in China. The 2nd king is CN, of course. Who is the third? Most probably WANG imho. That’s the end of story. There will be no 4th in China. Sorry.

  2. Domain Observer,
    If you truly knew the Chinese market you would be filthy rich 🙂

    • Domain Observer

      LOL. I wish I would. Just one of many personal opinions about China. I am eagerly expecting your sales report for the past month.

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