NetEase is a Chinese corporation that operates in a number of sectors. For example, it offers various online services to interested individuals. Likewise, it operates online games for both the PC and mobile platforms. On the whole, while NetEase isn’t particularly well-known in the west, it can claim without exaggeration to be one of the biggest corporations of its kind that can be found in the entire world. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about NetEase:
1. NetEase Is a Direct Translation
NetEase’s Chinese name is pronounced “Wang Yi.” The two names mean more or less the same thing as one thing, which is rather convenient.
2. Its Website Is 163.com
For those who are curious, NetEase’s website can be found at 163.com. The numbers are not a coincidence. Instead, they are a reference to a time when Chinese users had to dial “163” in order to connect to the Internet before the advent of broadband Internet.
3. Founded by Ding Lei
NetEase was founded in 1997 by a man named Ding Lei. Since that time, said individual has become a multi-time billionaire, thus making him one of the richest people in China and beyond. Outside of China, some people might be more familiar with Ding Lei under the name William Ding because it is a common practice for Chinese people to take on English personal names for the sake of convenience when operating in the English-speaking world.
4. Benefited from Investment in Search Engine Tech
One of the reasons that NetEase was able to surge to success was because of its investment in search engine tech. Suffice to say that investment happened at a very opportune time. With that said, while NetEase is still involved in the search engine business, it is not the biggest search engine that services the Chinese market.
5. Benefited from MMORPGs
Besides search engine tech, NetEase benefited a great deal from its investment in MMORPGs. Even now, NetEase continues to make its own MMORPGs for the Chinese market, which can secure tens of millions of players but still remain more or less unknown in other regions because of the sheer size of said market.
6. Has a Long Partnership with Blizzard Entertainment
NetEase isn’t limited to making its own games, as shown by the fact that it operates local versions of games created by other video game companies as well. In particular, NetEase is famous for its partnership with Blizzard Entertainment, which started up in 2009 and has continued to the present time.
7. Responsible for Making Diablo Immortal
Some people might remember the kerfuffle that was kicked up at the last BlizzCon. In short, Blizzard fans were expecting an announcement for the next main installment in the Diablo franchise. Instead, Blizzard Entertainment announced an upcoming mobile game called Diablo Immortal, which is the product of a collaboration between Blizzard and NetEase.
8. Has a Deal with Marvel Comics
In 2017, NetEase made a deal with Marvel Comics to create Chinese superheroes, which have since resulted in comics coming out on NetEase’s online comics platform. It is a pretty logical move for Marvel Comics since the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in the Chinese market suggests that there is a considerable appetite for superhero fiction in said region.
9. Has Invested $100 Million in Bungie
More recently in 2018, NetEase invested a sum of $100 million in Bungie in exchange for a couple of things. One, it received a minority stake in its ownership, which presumably provides it with some measure of influence over the video game developer. Two, it received a seat on its Board of Directors, which would be the body responsible for protecting shareholder interests by overseeing the executives.
10. Has Invested an Unknown Sum in Quantic Dream
Even more recently in 2019, NetEase invested an unknown amount of money in Quantic Dream in exchange for a minority stake in its ownership as well. The investment is supposed to help the people at Quantic Dream to make next-generation video games, technologies, as well as other products that will help it expand its presence to the world stage.