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“Sino” vs “China” in domain names

Kassey Lee examines usage of Sino in domains instead of China.

Graphic of mixed martial arts fight with "sino v. china" written on it

Recently a reader asked me a very interesting question. He wanted my opinion on “sino” vs “china” in a domain. As a matter of fact, I never thought about this issue in the past, so I decided to research a little bit to see if I could learn something about it.

Many readers know that I own a collection of “china” domains. However, I was never aware of the “sino” possibility so do not own any “sino” domains. To compare their popularity, I tried several sources.

The first one was dotDB.com. I looked at all domains, including those containing digits, hyphens, and IDNs. dotDB reported 292,000 “sino” domains registered across a variety of extensions, but the result on “china” was much bigger at 454,000 domains.

Next was domain sales reported by Namebio. I particularly focused on 2-word dictionary domains prefixed with “sino” and “china”. This is because otherwise a lot of “casino” domains would be included in the result. Anyway, dotDB reported 18 “sino” domains and 242 “china” domains.

Then, I entered “sino” into Baidu search which was set to display 50 results. I checked the results and found 31 of them using a “sino” domain, as shown below.

Sino.com, SinoFSX.com, SinoBiopharm.com, SinoRestaurant.com, SinoAutoid.com, SinoPowers.com, TianjinSino.com, SinoMachinegroup.com, SinoIndustry.com, Sino-mold.com, SinoSources.com, euSinoBC.com, Sino-i.com, ubmSinoExpo.com, Sino-laser.com, ChinaSinoPack.com, Sino-leasing.com, Sino-biochemlab.com, SinoFaith-ip.com, SinoPromise.com, SinoUnitedhealth.com.cn, SinoSola.cn, SinoIntl.com.cn, Sino-e.com.cn, SinoJobs.com.cn, LiveSino.net, SinoCard.sg, SinoTv.us, SinoMicro.org, SinoAlice.jp, SinoCoin.io

Then I repeated the same with “china” but found only 11 entries. I was surprised by the result. A wide guess is that “china” is a very popular word so there is a lot of good contents, which take priority over domain names in the search result. Here are the domains found in the search results:

China.com, LillyChina.com, Made-in-china.com, Assab-china.com, Chinadaily.com.cn, China.cn, China.com.cn, China.org.cn, ChinaDaily.com.cn, v-koolchina.com.cn, ThorlabsChina.cn.

While I have no definite answer to the “sino” vs “china” popularity question, my preference is still “china”. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see more “sino” domains than I thought.

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