The company is missing an important domain name.
It reminds me of an old Godzilla movie called “Size Does Matter”. China produces a lot of Godzilla-size corporations, and China Telecom is one of them. Yet, its corporate executives may have forgotten a strategic move — riding on a brand-matching domain.
China Telecom is big, ranking number eight globally as a telecommunication operator. According to its site, the company has 360 million mobile customers with 130 million on 5G. It’s also very close to listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which would be the world’s biggest IPO in 2021.
China Telecom was a brand of China Telecommunications Corporation in 1995 but spun out as a separate company in 2002. In that year, it registered ChinaTelecom-h.com as its corporate domain. (The “h” in the domain’s name may refer to Hong Kong, where the website is based.) In 2012, it also registered ChinaTelecomGlobal.com.
The brand-matching ChinaTelecom.com was registered in 1996 by a company called “Asian American Association Long Distance Customer Services” (AAALDS.com) which later changed to “Asian American Association Telecom Services” (AAATS.com). The domain’s current owner appears to be the same, based on the fact that the domain’s nameservers use AAATS.com.
Wayback Machine shows the domain was in use in 1997 as a simple page with a couple of links. The page included the name and early logo of China Telecom, which continued until 1999. When China Telecom was formally established in 2002, ChinaTelecom.com started forwarding to AAALDS.com until 2005. It hasn’t resolved since then.
Has China Telecom ever tried to buy or otherwise obtain ChinaTelecom.com? I don’t know. I found nothing when searching for UDRP cases related to the company name. Some non-redacted Whois records show administrative contact details, so it is easy to contact the domain owner.
Maybe the CEO of China Telecom can take a leaf from Elon Musk. In 2018, he tweeted, “Buying Tesla.com took over a decade, $11M & amazing amount of effort. Didn’t like TeslaMotors.com even when we were only making 🚘.”
There are still many large companies in China with the need to upgrade their domains. Are there any domains in your portfolio that happen to fall into the path of such domain upgrade?