A Pinyin domain that does not look like Pinyin

A Pinyin domain that does not look like Pinyin

Erke is actually a Chinese brand.

Logo for Erke shows the word Erke and a blue swish mark above it

Erke is hot! Everyone in China is talking about it and shoppers flock to its retail stores. Sales in July saw a massive spike. The great success of a foreign brand in China? No, Erke is actually a Chinese name.

Erke is small in the sportswear world but big in social responsibility. When severe flooding hit Henan in July, Erke gave generously even while struggling with its own finances. Chinese consumers loved Erke’s low-profile donation and pushed it to the forefront of national news. In China, social responsibility is good for business.

Erke (full name Hongxing Erke) was established in 2000 when founder Dennis Wu registered HongxingErke.com. In the same year, he also secured the shorter Erke.com. This was a strategic move. Currently, Erke.com is its consumer-facing corporate domain, and HongxingErke.com provides investment and financial services.

The brand is actually 2-pin Er Ke (尔克) that does not seem to have any clear meaning. It is also a western surname and a musical instrument played in South America.

Erke .cn is owned by an acupuncture research institute in Beijing, and HongxingErke .cn appears to belong to an individual.

This story is just another example of a Chinese company preferring a short .com to .cn. Pinyin domains that are pronounceable outside China are the best choice because a single brand can work for the entire global market.

Do you have western looking domains that are also Pinyin? Pinyin investors may want to look into this niche.

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