How Much Did Internet Tycoons Pay for Their Domains?

Posted on:2022-04-18 18:05:31 Views: 178

Domains are registered on a "first-come, first served" basis. The cost and renewal of a hand-regged domain is only dozens of dollars a year. As domains are becoming more and more scarce, it may cost you a fortune to buy a top-quality domain from the secondary market. How much did internet tycoons such as Ali, Tencent, and Baidu pay for their domains?

 

1. Continue using hand-regged domains to this day

 

Today's Internet tycoonss basically have a history of more than a decade. The general public couldnt care less about the domain community back then, so basically any domain can be registered for dozens of dollars. Such as search engine giant Baidu's Baidu.com and  Sohu's Sohu.com.

 

2. From Hand-regged domains to domain upgrades

 

From its establishment in 1998 to 2013, JD.com used the domain 360buy.com, which was registered for dozens of dollars. Around 2000, it was indeed popular to use this digit-letter-combination domains, such as job search websites 51job.com. In 2013, JD.com spent 30 million to acquire JD.com. Although 30 million is a huge fortune, the huge promotion cost was also be saved thanks to this domain upgrade.

 

The full name of 360 is Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Ltd. When founded, the company used the domain qihoo.com which imitated yahoo.com with low cost. As the company continued to gain upside momentum, a domain upgrade became a must. In the end, 360 Company spent more than 100 million to buy 360.com.

 

The story of Tencents qq.com is more interesting. Founded in 1998, Tencent initially used oicq.com and oicq.net which imitated AOL ICQ, these two domains were eventually arbitrated back by ICQ as a result. Later on, they registered Tencent.com at a low price and used it for 2 years. In 2003, Tencent found that qq.com was listed for sale for $2 million. They contacted the domain holder and said that the domain was purchased for a personal website, hoping the price could be lowered. The domain holder eventually sold the domain to the company that wanted to "make a personal website" for a steal of $100,000.

 

3. Acquire the domain right out of the gate

 

Ambitious Internet companies nowadays will choose a domain suitable for their products right out of the gate at any expense. In 1999, Jack Ma purchased alibaba.com from a domain investor at an unknown high price. At that time, domain names were still a niche field, and Alibaba was still in its infancy. However, Jack Ma was forward-thinking and invested in domains, contributing to Alibabas leader ship of Internet e-commerce.