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Besides .gent, .vlaanderen, .hotel and .shop, several domain extensions have also been launched for brands. And Citic is the first gTLD that replaces the eponymous .com domain name with its own .citic brand TLD. This is an example that should make other brands think, especially since this decision got Google’s approval!
As you know, many new generic Top-Level Domains have been created in order to allow people, organisations and companies to register a domain name that clearly reflects an identity, while being affordable. There are gTLDs that refer to generic terms such as .golf, .shoe, .immo and .guru, as well as new geographic TLDs that refer to regions and cities, like .vlaanderen, .gent, .amsterdam, and even .frl (Frisia) or .scot (Scotland). But there are also many brand names that will now be used for TLDs, like .bnpparisbas, .bmw, .suzuki and many others.
One of these brand gTLDs is .citic, which belongs to China International Trust and Investment Company, China’s largest state-owned investment company, which was established in 1979 by Rong Yiren, with the approval of Deng Xiaoping. Recently, the group had become so powerful that it has been in talks to acquire Morgan Stanley in 2008, a transaction that eventually never happened.
Be that as it may, Citic has taken a decision that some consider risky, while others consider it logical: its main website is no longer www.citic.com, but ltd.citic. With this, it is the first dot-brand that took the step from its ordinary .com domain name to its dot-brand domain name. And it seems that Google approved this transition, because Citic was not penalised for this domain swap. Those who will google Citic will see that ltd.citic ranks third in search results, and also that citic.com no longer appears among the first ten results.
Little by little, other companies are also making the transition to their own brand-TLD (destination.monash, annualreport.axa…). But Citic is the first that has completely put its .com aside to fully go for its own brand identity – a decision that many other brands will most probably follow in the near future!
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