I own the Internet domain a84.com. Quite often I get unsolicited inquires from individuals in China asking if I would sell the domain. The inquiries come only from China.

I'm not sure if the interest is based on the domain being a three-character "dot com" or if there is some special meaning to the characters "a84" to Chinese people. My only guess is that perhaps those characters are used to enter a Chinese character using a western keyboard -- but that's only a random guess.

Can anyone tell me if there is any significance to the characters "a84" for individuals in China who buy domain names?

  • 1
    84, 巴士(bus)? to me it does not sound anything. Mostly is 3 char domain only, easier to remember – ah_hau Aug 28 '14 at 1:35

For many Chinese, a domain like a84 is easy to type and remember.

First, consider that typing English words and phrases is very unnatural for Chinese. Even if the user is familiar with typing (and this aptitude would be low compared to developed nations), they would be accustomed to typing single letters and numbers, depending on their IME. Your average Chinese computer user would be typing sentences using keystrokes like wmyqdmj3b2!. Typing google or stackexchange would be much harder for them.

Second, English aptitude is fairly low in China compared to most developed nations. Rather than trying to remember how to spell an English word, Chinese would find it easier to remember a short sequence of numbers, and letters if they have to. You can see this in some of the most popular Chinese websites:

  • 163
  • qq
  • 92
  • 12306
  • 1688

Technically we can have Chinese character domain names now, but support is by no means widespread and it takes even more keystrokes to type than simple numbers.

There's also the numerology factor to consider, but 84 is pretty average in that regard (8 is great but 4 is awful).

There's an interesting article on this subject here: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117608/chinese-number-websites-secret-meaning-urls

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84 could mean awesome (巴适) for Sichuanese people...

It could really be anything though...

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