Why China loves the number 51.

The number 51 on an orange background

Just enter 51 in Baidu search and you’ll see many domains starting with the number 51. What is significant about this number in China?

Well, when you say 51 in Chinese, it sounds like many Pinyin phrases. One of them is Wo Yao (我要=I want), which is useful as a call to action. Here are some examples.

51Talk.com provides online one-to-one English tutoring services. Actually, “51Talk” is the Chinese brand for the services. The company started in 2011 and succeeded in listing on NYSE in 2016. In “51Talk”, 51 rhymes with Wo Yao (我要=I want) and “Talk” is an English word. Together, the domain means “I want to talk (to the world)”.

51BXG.com was launched in 2011 as a nationwide portal providing news, market prices, inventory levels, and a variety of information about stainless steel products. In “51BXG”, 51 rhymes with Wo Yao (我要=I want) and BXG is the acronym for Bu Xiu Gang (不锈钢=stainless steel). Together, the domain means “I want to (know) stainless steel”.

51Wan.com is a game platform for fee-paying members. The service was launched in 2007 and membership exceeded 100 million by 2017. In “51Wan”, 51 rhymes with Wo Yao (我要=I want) and Wan is the Pinyin word for 玩 (=play). Together, the domain means “I want to play (games)”.

51.la is a very interesting case because .la is the country extension of Laos which also happens to be the Pinyin word for 啦 (indicating exclamation). The service was launched 16 years ago to help webmasters monitor/analyze visitors and currently it has 3.5 million registered webmasters. “51.la” means “I want it!”

Apart from Wo Yao (我要=I want), 51 also rhymes with other Pinyin phrases such as Wei Yi (唯一=one and only one), Wu You (无忧=without worries), and Wu Yi (武艺=martial art). In my opinion, the 51-prefix allows you to create a Chinese brand and then register the matching domain in a low-cost way.

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