Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chinese Internet domain names netted more than $160K

A pair of sites named for ultra-mobile personal computing ( and, one of the hottest technologies around, fetched an eye-popping 390,000 yuan ($49,000).

Generic domain names including and sold well above their reserve prices, while -- "caipiao" means lottery ticket in Chinese -- fetched 37,000 yuan.

"I think today was a definite step forward in this market," said Ranger Wang, who organised the auction in a Beijing hotel and was the seller of the "umpc" names.

The prices fetched were far from the giddy sums that change hands in the West. Five of the 12 names up for auction failed to attract a bid. But Wang said the sale total of 1.3 million yuan was, as far as he knew, a record for China.

"Before this, domain name auctions were very small affairs and were never really successful," Wang told Reuters after the auction, beads of sweat still on his brow.

"I haven't had a chance to really do the maths, but I think today's result was quite satisfying," he said.

Not entirely satisfying. "I take it the technology is a bit outdated now?" the auctioneer quipped as his pleas for a bid for fell on deaf ears.

($1=7.973 Yuan)

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