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December 25, 2015

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

A New Development in the Chinese Domain Boom: New Institute Aims to Turn Inexperienced Buyers Into Better Domain Investors 

It's no secret that Chinese buyers have turned the domain market upside down this year, pouring millions of dollars into new investments with much of that money going into short .com domains containing 2-4 letters or numbers (some of the numeric strings all the way out to six figures and still drawn good money) but also extending into some other extensions, including new gTLDs. The boom in Chinese buying has, of course, delighted sellers in the west, though everyone is now wondering how long this unexpected buying spree can last.

As it happens, some leaders in China's domain industry think things have already gotten a little too frothy. They do want to see active buying and selling continue but believe a   sustainable market will depend on new investors in their country becoming better educated. If they make sound buying decisions that will generate a long term profit, both buyers and sellers will win and keep the economic engine humming. 

Toward that end Booksir (Liangji) Zhuang (seen in the book cover photo at right) teamed up with several experienced domain name investors to launch the  MIXUE Digital Investment Institute earlier this month in Xiamen. The name Mixue is a combination of "mi", which equates to domains in China, and "xue" means training or learning, so mixue can be interpreted as domain name training. 

Philadelphia-based domain broker George Hong of Guta.com, who is a native of China, was at the Mixue launch and was kind enough to  

Cover photo of Booksir Zhuang's book Dismantling the Wall of Internet that provides an extensive analysis of the current Internet situation and the opportunities it presents in China.

arrange for us to get photos and highlights from the event to share with you. Those are presented below as sent to us with the only changes being some of a grammatical nature that made the translation from Chinese to English easier to understand.

The Mixue report affirmed what I wrote at the beginning of this article, noting "At the same time  China began experiencing rapid economic development, domain name investment got started quietly and gradually gained momentum over the past few years. However, lots of new domain name investors have stepped into the industry since September 2015, with an enormous amount of money pouring into it. That has lead to an overheated domain name investment market and various domain names bought by new, and sometimes irrational, investors in China, resulting in soaring prices of domain names. To provide the basic knowledge of domain name investment, keep overheated investment behavior more reasonable, and promote the sound development of domain name investment market, the Mixue Digital Investment Institute was founded with the inaugural class meeting in Xiamen December 6-9, 2015."

Above: Photo of the inaugural class at China's Mixue Digital Investment Institute (MDII).

Below: The MDII launch was big news in Xiamen (a booming metropolis of more than 
3.5 million people) where major media outlets turned out in force to cover the event. They are seen here interviewing Booksir Zhuang

Above: Guta.com's George Hong doing TV interviews at the MDII launch.

Below: MDII founders and industry leaders on stage to officially launch 
Mixue Digital Investment Institute 

Above: Domain Investment Panel Discussion. From left to right are Zhu Yaoguang, the President of jinyuming.com,  Zhang Zhengjun, the President of A5 (A5.net),  Zhou Xiaopeng (Miller), a well known domain name investor, Xie Yongdong, the President of yumi.com, George Hong, the founder of guta.com, Booksir Zhuang, the founder of 258 Group258.com) and Wang Weilin, the president of RZ.com.

Above: During a session on “Purchasing domain names from overseas - Challenges and Opportunities” that was presented by George Hong (in foreground), America's Alan Hack (seen on screen), the President of Names Plus Marketing, joined George via Skype for a Q & A.

Above: Domain auction tips were provide by Zhu Yaoguang (jinyuming.com).

Below: Yu Jiehao, founder of 10.cn, doing a presentation 
on "Risk control in domain name investment"

Above: MDII trainees listen intently during one of the Institute's business sessions.

Below: The Domain Name Fund presentation from Wang Weilin (RZ.com).

Above: News about the domain business was spread far and wide by the large number of Chinese major media outlets at the MDII launch. They included ifeng.com, Xiamen TV, Fujian Dail and China Economic Net (CEN). The screenshot above captured some of CEN's coverage. CEN, a key central news website and a national economic web portal sponsored by Economic Daily, releases about 10,000 pieces of news every day with approximately 1 million daily visitors.

Above: Xiamen TV is one of the top television outlets
 in Fujian province with access to as many 30 million viewers. 

Below: Fujian Daily is the area's most widely read mainstream newspaper
Its daily circulation has exceeded 200,000 copies.

As China's first institute specializing in domain name investment, Mixue leaders said, "Mixue aims to serve domain name investors, expand high-quality networks in the industry, speed up integration of Chinese traditional enterprises with the Internet, improve their domain knowledge and spread to the general public the concept of the domain name as brand equity and and Internet resource. "

"The satisfaction of all trainees at MIXUE is guaranteed. If for any reason a trainee is not satisfied with the training he or she can get a full refund within 7 days after the training class concludes. No trainee in the first class asked for a refund."

Thanks again to George Hong and Mixue for giving us this insight into what is happening in China. Though Chinese buyers have already become a huge market force it is clear that the industry there still has plenty of room left to grow, especially with so many new investors entering the field and  mainstream media there covering domains at a level that already seems to exceed what we see here in the U.S. 

(Posted December 24, 2015) 

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