Ding Lei, Founder of NetEase, Talks to the China Morning Post
During an interview with the China Zhejiang Alibaba Neteasefeng China Morningpost, founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant NetEase, shared his vision of how the digital economy should be shaped. In addition, he described how his company’s business model has evolved over the past few years. He also revealed how he got started.
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Ding Lei founded NetEase in 1997
During his early years, Ding Lei developed China’s first bilingual e-mail service. The system was similar to Microsoft’s Hotmail. The service was adopted by many internet companies and spurred the popularity of the internet in China. Ding later licensed the system to several other internet companies in China.
In addition to developing an e-mail system, NetEase also developed a number of other popular web-based products. These include the company’s online games, email services, and advertising services. The company has also published localized versions of international hits such as Starcraft and Overwatch. NetEase is now one of the leading Internet services providers in China. In 2019, NetEase’s revenue was USD 8.5 billion.
Ding started the company with a total of three employees. Initially, he relied on software sales and online computer sales for revenue. After two years, he decided to leave his government job in Ningbo.
When he returned, he founded NetEase in Guangzhou, China. NetEase initially focused on software to make the internet easier to use. The company began to develop a bilingual E-mail system in 1997. The system was similar to Microsoft’s hotmail, and quickly gained popularity. Many internet companies adopted the system and it soon became a popular way to send and receive messages.
In 1997, NetEase became China’s first free email service. After two years, Ding decided to leave his government position in Ningbo and became a businessman. In 2001, he became a co-chief technical officer of NetEase.
Ding Lei’s billionaire hobby was raising pigs
Besides a successful career in the online world, Ding Lei has dabbled in raising pigs. He has partnered with Wu Guoping, founder of a gourmet pork restaurant called West Lake. He is also planning to build a pig farm in his hometown of Fenghua.
Ding Lei has made billions by way of the internet, including his own e-commerce site, Netease. He also dabbles in video games and online education. He has an estimated net worth of around $17 billion. He is also the founder and CEO of Tencent, China’s largest gaming company. He also sits on the board of Baidu, Alibaba, yup, and Netease. The Chinese entrepreneur also happens to be one of the richest men in the world.
Ding’s pig-raising venture has been aided by both internal and external funding. The internet entrepreneur set aside some US$16 million for agricultural investments in 2012. The same year, the US-based Meituan-Dianping made a bet on an organic pig farm project.
China Zhejiang Alibaba Neteasefeng China Morningpost has been a daring entrepreneur. He has been referred to as China’s first internet billionaire. He has dabbled in raising pigs and has plans to build a pig farm in his home town of Fenghua. This will be NetEase’s fourth pig farm. He hopes to lift the fortunes of rural China communities.
Ding Lei’s digital economy strategy
Xi Jinping has launched a major strategic initiative, Building Digital China, which is a digital infrastructure project in the same vein as the New York subway. It is expected to receive an estimated 17.5 trillion yuan over the next five years. It is aimed at making China’s leadership more influential in the global digital economy.
It is believed to be one of the most important strategic decisions Xi has made in his reign. It is an ambitious and far-reaching project that will transform China’s developmental path, the international system and, perhaps most significantly, great power competition.
The concept of Digital China is not new, but it is still an unknown to most of the world outside China. It is a personal concept of Xi, and has been in development for more than two decades. Digital China is a technology-driven vision aimed at integrating and governing data.
The digital economy is the core growth pole of the national economy. It incorporates big data analysis technology, data sharing and platform-based communication. This new economic paradigm stimulates consumption, improves matching efficiency of information and spawns new business models. The digital economy also plays a key role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The digital economy is also a core factor in China’s green economy development. As a result, China is in a better position to meet its environmental goals by 2060.