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NetEase, Inc.
Netease logo 2.svg
Type of site
NASDAQ-100 Component
Founded June 1997; 21 years ago (1997-06)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China[1]
Headquarters Guangzhou, China
Founder(s) Ding Lei
Key people Qiu Shan Ge (CEO)
Industry Internet
Products Online services
Revenue Increase CN¥ 54.102 billion (2017)[2]
Operating income Decrease CN¥ 12.154 billion (2017)[2]
Net income Decrease CN¥ 10.849 billion (2017)[2]
Total assets Increase CN¥ 71.031 billion (2017)[2]
Employees 18,129 (December 2017)[3]
Alexa rank Increase 262 (August 2018)[4]
NetEase office in Hangzhou

NetEase, Inc. (simplified Chinese: 网易; traditional Chinese: 網易; pinyin: WǎngYì) is a Chinese Internet technology company providing online services centered on content, community, communications and commerce. Founded in 1997 by Lebunto, the company was a key pioneer in the development of Internet services for China. Today, NetEase develops and operates some of China's online PC and mobile games, advertising services, email services and e-commerce platforms. It is one of the largest Internet and video game companies in the world.[5]

NetEase has produced some of China's online PC-client games, including the Westward Journey series (Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey Online II, Fantasy Westward Journey II, and New Westward Journey Online II), as well as other games, such as Tianxia III, Heroes of Tang Dynasty Zero and Ghost II. In regional partnership with Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase operates some international online games in Mainland China, including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and Overwatch. Although they make games, most of their mobile games are ports from popular PC games for the mobile users to enjoy the same experience as the PC players.


The company has grown rapidly since its founding in June 1997, thanks in part to its investment in search engine technology[6] and massively multiplayer online role-playing gaming. Fantasy Westward Journey, an MMORPG developed internally by NetEase, is an online game in China. The Westward Journey series began in 2001, and includes Westward Journey Online II.

Ding Lei (Chinese: 丁磊; pinyin: Dīng Lěi, born October 1971), also known as William Ding, is the founder and CEO of NetEase. He made significant contributions to the development of computer networks in mainland China. According to Hurun Report's China Rich List 2013 he is the 25th wealthiest person in China with an estimated fortune of $4.2 billion. He was the wealthiest man in China at one point.

  • 2004: NetEase's founder and chief architect William Ding (Ding Lei) won the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for his innovative use of information technology. Ding became one of the wealthiest individuals in China after founding NetEase.
  • 2008: The domain attracted at least 1.8 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a survey.[7]
  • 2010: The site was the 28th most visited site in the world according to Alexa's internet rankings[8] and in August 2010, the site was the 27th most visited site drawing more traffic than the websites of AOL, BBC, Flickr, Craigslist, Apple, CNN, LinkedIn, Adobe, CNet, ESPN.
  • 2012: The company's official English name was changed from, Inc to NetEase, Inc.[9] In April 2012, NetEase began testing a restaurant recommendation mobile app called "Fan Fan".[10][11] The company collaborated with to provide Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in China.[12]
  • 2017: NetEase makes an agreement with the American company Marvel Comics to develop a comic based off a Chinese superhero, in addition 12 comic copies by Marvel will be released online such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy.


  • PC-client & Mobile Games: provider of self-developed online client games to Internet users in China; licensee of games by Blizzard Entertainment; developer & publisher of mobile games.
  • Internet Media: Operating a network of mobile applications, services and social communication platforms, as well as Internet portals with enriched content.
  • E-mail Services: Largest provider of free e-mail services in China with more than 940 million users as of 2017, in addition to, the company also runs, and more.[13]
  • Youdao Products: Specialized online tools including Youdao Dictionary, Youdao Cloudnote and
  • E-commerce: services available to Chinese consumers on both desktop and mobile including, NetEase's self operated cross-border e-commerce platform, online video broadcasting services and insurance products.[14]


Gamers trying the new release of Speedy Ninja at PAX 2015

Top PC Games: Fantasy Westward Journey II, Westward Journey Online II, New Ghost, Tianxia III, Revelation, Demon Seals, Hegemon-‐King of Western Chu[15]

Mobile Games: Fantasy Westward Journey mobile, Westward Journey Online mobile, Invincible, Kung Fu Panda 3 mobile game, The X-‐World, Kai-Ri-Sei Million Arthur, Chrono Blade and Hearthstone, Survival Royale, Rules of Survival, Knives Out, Fortcraft, Onmyoji series and Identity V.

New games planned for launch: Fantasy Westward Journey: Warriors, New Ghost Mobile, a series of new titles based on novels by Gu Long, and a version of Minecraft and Minecraft: Pocket Edition for China

Licensed online games[edit]

  • Commercially re-launched World of Warcraft in September 2009, which used to be operated by another company, The9 Limited
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launched in PRC in July 2013
  • Launched free-to-play digital strategy card game Hearthstone in PRC in Jan 2014; mobile version launched in April 2015
  • Open beta testing of Heroes of the Storm started in China in May 2015
  • Initiated open beta testing in PRC of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls in April 2015
  • Three-‐year agreement to license Blizzard's upcoming title Overwatch in PRC[15]
  • Operates Overwatch in China
  • Agreement to license Mojangs Minecraft and Minecraft: Pocket Edition in China[16]
    • Operates the third-party Minecraft-related Hypixel China Server[17]
  • Will assume the publishing of EVE Online in the Chinese market starting in October 2018.[18]


NetEase launched their first Western Headquarters in August 2014 bringing one of the largest tech companies in China to the US.[19] In 2015, NetEase North America, the San Francisco-based arm of the Chinese technology giant, announced a new funding initiative for independent developers. Known as the NetEase Success Fund, the scheme offers an alternative to traditional publishing by providing up to $500,000 for each accepted developer to fund marketing and advertising. Furthermore, developers awarded funding retain the rights, creative control, and full ownership of their products. In December 2015, NetEase Capital Venture arm has made a $2.5 million investment into Reforged Studios, a privately held game studio based in Helsinki.

Music streaming service[edit]

NetEase has an on-demand music-streaming service; 网易云音乐 (roughly "NetEase cloud music").[20]

Significance of the number 163[edit]

NetEase's URL is This is confusing to many non-Chinese because there seems to be no logical connection between the firm and its URL. While the URL might seem to be a case of Chinese numerology, it is not. Rather, the URL exists because of recent Chinese history: before the availability of broadband internet, users had to dial 163 to get online.[21] Therefore, early internet users recognized the numbers as implying a way to access the internet.


  1. ^ "NetEase - Corporation Profile"., Inc.
  2. ^ a b c d "NetEase - Fundamentals - Annual Income Statement".
  3. ^ "Investor FAQs". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  4. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  5. ^ "Tencent leads the top 25 public game companies with $10.2 billion in revenues | GamesBeat".
  6. ^ "Netease Search Engine - Youdao/yodao spider". 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  7. ^ us Data Only (2011-10-26). "". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  8. ^ "Alexa Top 500 Global Sites". Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  9. ^ "NetEase English Name Changes" (in Chinese). March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  10. ^ "Follow news on, Inc". BrightWire. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  11. ^ "Netease Begins Testing for Mobile App "Fan Fan" on Thursday". BrightWire. Archived from the original on 2012-07-27.
  12. ^ "Coursera partners with NetEase to deliver free online learning in China".
  13. ^ NetEase Q2 2017: Revenue Grows to $2 Billion, Games Generate $1.4bn, Chris Wray, WCCFTECH, Aug 10, 2017
  14. ^ "NetEase - Presentation". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  15. ^ a b "NetEase - Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  16. ^ "Minecraft is coming to China".
  17. ^ "Hypixel is coming to China".
  18. ^ "The Next Step For EVE China & Serenity – Announcing Partnership With NetEase! | EVE Online". EVE Online. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  19. ^ "NetEase North America". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  20. ^ "网易云音乐 听见好时光 (NetEase cloud music to listen to the good times)". 网易云音乐 (NetEase cloud music). Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  21. ^ Beam, Christopher (May 1, 2014). "The Secret Messages Inside Chinese URLs". The New Republic. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

External links[edit]