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Numeric domains: 996 is not a great number in China

The Chinese utilize a combination of numbers to denote words and phrases; the system works well with numeric domain names, making them appealing to domain investors in China.

How does this work exactly?

Words for numbers are homophones for other words, so for example: In Chinese,  number five is pronounced wu, which sounds like wo, which means “I.” Number one is pronounced yao, which means “want” when toned differently. So the job-hunting site 51job.com sounds a lot like “I want a job.”

Domain investors already know that number “4” means “death” and is generally avoided, but in recent years the most hated numeric combination in China must be 996.

For a change, this number isn’t a byproduct of pronouncing the digits in Chinese. The number 996 denotes “9am to 9pm, 6 days a week” – the trending work philosophy among Chinese companies, that violates China’s labor laws.

In 2016, the web site 996.ICU was launched as a repository of such practices by China’s companies. The domain “996.icu” refers to how developers who work under the 996 system (9AM–9PM, 6 days per week) would risk poor health and a possible stay in an intensive care unit. The movement’s slogan is “developers’ lives matter.”

In that sense, 996.com would not be a popular domain either. We would not know for sure, as it’s forwarded to 25pp.com.

Numeric domains are liked by the Chinese – Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash


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