Kassey Lee analyzes how Chinese registrars account for a large portion of new top level domain registrations.

Magnifying glass over Chinese flag

New top level domain names, such as .best, .rich, and .guru, began rolling out at the end of 2013.

According to nTLDstats.com, there are about 34 million new top level domains registered across 1,187 new extensions at 372 registrars. The site also displays a list of the 372 registrars and their market shares. For our study, I have selected the top 10 registrars, as shown below.

Rank Registrar Domains Share
1 Alibaba 5,426,279 15.90%
2 GoDaddy 3,253,218 9.53%
3 NameCheap 2,827,229 8.28%
4 West263 2,742,342 8.04%
5 GMO 2,150,271 6.30%
6 West.cn 1,839,191 5.39%
7 Eranet 1,717,788 5.03%
8 WebNic.cc 1,435,744 4.21%
9 NameSilo 800,547 2.35%
10 CentralNic 767,804 2.25%

Because West263 also belongs to West.cn, essentially two Chinese registrars — Alibaba and West.cn — together capture about 29% of the new extensions. Chinese domain investors have been active since the early launches of new extensions. This might have been because there was a feeling that they were late to the .com game, so they hoped to lead in the new frontier of the domain space. New top level domain registries also pitched new TLDs as an investment in China and often offered low-priced registrations in the region.

While it is still debatable whether the new extensions are a success or not, there have been some great sales. In 2019, for example, Free.games was sold for $335,000, ZB.app for $91,000, and Business.club for $60,936. You can find more sales data at Namebio.

As years go by, it is becoming difficult to justify still calling these extensions “new.” Unfortunately, so far, there is no consensus on what to call them, so they’ll remain to be called “new” extensions.

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