Chinese hardware firm Xiaomi has invested £2m in the simpler mi.com domain name, as part of its bid to crack a global market and compete with rival outfits like Google and Apple.
Hugo Barra, who worked at Google on Android, and left to join the Chinese company in the summer last year, hinted that expansion is at the heart of the expensive purchase.
The straight way to see the name change and domain investment is that many people will have struggled to pronounce the Xiaomi name, and indeed one Twitter user, from Sweden, told Barra that this would aid sales locally.
The Mi.com page is already live and it is the second most expensive domain of the year, having just bested the price paid for whisky.com.
Domains are becoming increasingly important to firms as new generic top level domains come online. Earlier this year Apple, Nvidia and Ericsson all grabbed .wiki web domains to avoid squatters cashing in on this new raft of domains.
Domains are expensive property. Last year Yahoo put forgotten domains worth around $4m up for sale including sandwich.com, webserver.com and av.com.
There are now 271 million top-level domain names registered on the web, according to data from Verisign released earlier this year. The .com domain is easily the most popular domain in use, but surprising the .tk domain, for a tiny Pacific island, is the second most used code, mainly because it is free to use.
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