Li Na domain name up for grabs

Jun 22, 2011
China's Li Na returns a shot at the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in south-west London, on June 21, 2011. The soaring popularity of China's first Grand Slam champion Li Na is good news for a fan who owns the domain name -- now expected to fetch at least 100,000 yuan ($15,500) at auction next month.

The soaring popularity of China's first Grand Slam champion Li Na is good news for a fan who owns the domain name -- now expected to fetch at least 100,000 yuan ($15,500) at auction next month.

Liu Tailong -- who bought the name for little more than 2,000 yuan in late May, just before Li's breakthrough triumph at the French Open -- says he is confident his investment was a good one.

"She is rising in her career, so her influence is expanding," Liu said in comments carried Wednesday by the China Daily.

"If not linked with Li Na, the domain name is just ordinary -- no one would care about it, not to mention value it."

Liu says he hopes the name will be bought at auction by an organisation wishing to develop a tennis-related website.

Li, 29, defeated defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the French Open final on the red clay at Roland Garros in Paris. She advanced to the second round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Li's Grand Slam victory has generated a groundswell of support in a country where tennis still lags far behind basketball, football and table tennis in terms of popularity.

More than two million have registered as fans of Li on Sina Weibo, one of China's most popular microblogging sites. China is home to the world's largest Internet population at more than 477 million.

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