What does increased regulation of domain names in China mean for the average investor?

One of the most prominent trends in the domain investing world over the last year has been the incredible growth in China. Ten years from now we might look back at 2015 and say, “that was the year where Domaining really took off in China” or we might say “2015 was an anomaly and the domain industry never ended-up taking off in China.”


After a strong Q4, 2016 started off without a bang as Chinese domain buyers stopped buying premium 4L .COMs and 6N .COMs at record prices. In short, demand fell off a cliff. There has been a debate about if this is a short term down cycle or the beginning of a downward trend.

Now, this week the news broke – China was looking at instituting a policy for restricting access to foreign domain names:

“The proposals, released for public comment last week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, seek to update existing regulations to censor any domain names not registered within China. Only domain names approved by authorities would be permitted, while other names registered outside of China would be blocked automatically.” (Source – thestack.com)

So it seems likely that the interest that we saw from China in the back half of 2015 will likely continue to wane in the face of this news. If your portfolio was centered around CHIPS and 6N .COMs you might take a hit.

Here’s my question? How will this impact the average domain name investor. My thinking is that most domain investors might have loaded up a bit on names that Chinese investors have been showing a lot of interest in, but overall I think it’s going to be a-okay for most investors.

The domain industry goes through cycles and many investors have learned how to balance their portfolio to profit when trends move in their direction, and pull back when they don’t. Do I think the news from China will impact investment activity coming from China? Probably so. However I also think that the average domain investor is going to be fine, and like most things in this industry, just wait a year or two and things might be very different.

Now I’d like to hear from you. If China does take a deeper dive and investment activity drops, will this make a major impact on you? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton