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NetEase, Inc.
Netease logo 2.svg
Type of site
NASDAQ-100 Component
FoundedJune 1997; 23 years ago (1997-06)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China[1]
HeadquartersGuangzhou, China and George Town, Cayman Islands
Founder(s)Ding Lei
Key peopleDing Lei(CEO)
ProductsOnline services
RevenueIncrease CN¥ 59.24 billion (2019)[2]
Operating incomeIncrease CN¥ 13.79 billion (2019)[2]
Net incomeIncrease CN¥ 21.43 billion (2019)[2]
Total assetsIncrease CN¥ 112.12 billion (2019)[2]
Employees18,129 (December 2017)[3]
  • Titan Studio
Alexa rankIncrease 262 (August 2018)[6]
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. The company was founded in 1997 by Ding Lei. NetEase develops and operates online PC and mobile games, advertising services, email services and e-commerce platforms in China. It is one of the largest Internet and video game companies in the world.[7] The company also owns several pig farms.[8]

Some of NetEase's games include 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. NetEase also partners with Blizzard Entertainment to operate local versions of Warcraft III, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Overwatch in China, The RPG game Onmyoji, and The Onmyoji Arena MOBA.They are also developing their first self-developed VR multiplayer online game with an open world setting, which is called Nostos.[9]


The company was founded in June 1997 by Chinese entrepreneur Ding Lei, and grew rapidly due in part to its investment in search engine technology[10] and massively multiplayer online role-playing gaming. Its first MMORPG developed internally was Fantasy Westward Journey. The Westward Journey series began in 2001, and includes Westward Journey Online II.

  • 2000: NetEase went public on Wall Street through a variable interest entity (VIE) based in the Cayman Islands.
  • 2001: NetEase is delisted from NASDAQ because accusations its directors were involved in fraudulent practices reporting earnings.
  • 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.[11]
  • 2010: The site was the 28th most visited site in the world according to Alexa's internet rankings[12] 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.[13] In April 2012, NetEase began testing a restaurant recommendation mobile app called "Fan Fan".[14][15] The company collaborated with to provide Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in China.[16]
  • 2017: NetEase makes an agreement with the American company Marvel Comics to develop a comic based on 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.[17] This results in the publication of Aero, a Manhua tie-in to Marvel's Agents of Atlas.
  • 2018: NetEase invests US$100 million into Bungie for a minority stake in the company and a seat on its board of directors.[18] In December of the same year NetEase invested in New Zealand developer A44 (Formally known as Aurora 44),[19] and it sold its comics business to Bilibili.[17]
  • 2019: NetEase obtains a minority stake in Quantic Dream for an undisclosed investment.[20]

in January 2020, NetEase is discussing secondary listings with the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.[21]


  • 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.[22]
  • 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.[23]


Gamers trying the new release of Speedy Ninja at PAX 2015

PC Games: Fantasy Westward Journey II, Westward Journey Online II, New Ghost, Tianxia III, Revelation, Demon Seals, Hegemon-‐King of Western Chu, Rules of Survival[24]

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, Cyber Hunter, Survival Royale, Rules of Survival, Knives Out, Ride Out Heroes, Super Mecha Champions, Life After, Creative Destruction, Extraordinary Ones, FishBoy, Galactic Frontline, The Room series, Onmyoji series and Identity V.

In 2017, NetEase Games announced a collaboration with Qualcomm to optimise their Messiah Game Engine for Vulkan and Snapdragon 800 series.[25]

Knives Out (2017) is one of the most popular battle royale games, having reached over 250 million players.[26]

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. On Tuesday, May 28, it was announced at a Pokémon Press Conference in Tokyo that NetEase would be developing a version of ‘‘Pokémon Quest’’ for Chinese devices.

Game released under Titan Studio: Creative Destruction for PC and Mobile.[5][4][27]

In January 2020, NetEase launched its online digital game store, Fever Games with two games: Deep Rock Galactic and TerraTech.[28]

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 title Overwatch in PRC[24]
  • Agreement to license Mojang's Minecraft and Minecraft: Pocket Edition in China[29]
    • Operates the Chinese third-party Minecraft Hypixel server[30]
  • Will assume the publishing of EVE Online in the Chinese market starting in October 2018[31]
  • Developing Diablo Immortal for iOS and Android[32]


NetEase launched their first Western Headquarters in August 2014 bringing one of the largest tech companies in China to the US.[33] 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").[34]

Significance of the number 163[edit]

NetEase's official website address is This was attributed to the past when Chinese internet users had to dial "163" to connect to the internet, before the availability of broadband internet.[35]


  1. ^ "NetEase - Corporation Profile"., Inc.
  2. ^ a b c d "NetEase Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2019 Unaudited Financial Results (PDF)". 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Investor FAQs". Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "CREATIVE DESTRUCTION Trademark of HONG KONG NETEASE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED Serial Number: 87884773 :: Trademarkia Trademarks".
  5. ^ a b "Creative Destruction on Steam".
  6. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  7. ^ "Tencent leads the top 25 public game companies with $10.2 billion in revenues | GamesBeat".
  8. ^ Bao, Zhiming; Jia, Denise (September 21, 2019). "Chinese Gaming Giant NetEase to Raise More Pigs". Caixin. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
  9. ^ "Nostos :: Welcome to the Nostos Community!". 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Netease Search Engine - Youdao/yodao spider". 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  11. ^ us Data Only (2011-10-26). "". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  12. ^ "Alexa Top 500 Global Sites". Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  13. ^ "NetEase English Name Changes" (in Chinese). March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  14. ^ "Follow news on, Inc". BrightWire. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  15. ^ "Netease Begins Testing for Mobile App "Fan Fan" on Thursday". BrightWire. Archived from the original on 2012-07-27.
  16. ^ "Coursera partners with NetEase to deliver free online learning in China".
  17. ^ a b Zen Soo; Zheping Huang (13 December 2018). "Chinese gaming giant NetEase sells comics business to rival Bilibili, retains rights to Marvel series". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Bungie gets more than $100 million investment from NetEase". June 1, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "AURORA44 LIMITED (4672299) Registered". New Zealand Companies Office. December 17, 2018.
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (January 29, 2019). "Quantic Dream receives investment from NetEase to develop next-gen games". Polygon. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "Hong Kong Bourse Discusses New Listings With Ctrip, Netease"
  22. ^ NetEase Q2 2017: Revenue Grows to $2 Billion, Games Generate $1.4bn, Chris Wray, WCCFTECH, Aug 10, 2017
  23. ^ "NetEase - Presentation". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  24. ^ a b "NetEase - Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  25. ^ "Qualcomm and NetEase Announce Collaboration to Support Optimization of NetEase Games on Snapdragon 845 Flagship Mobile Platform". Qualcomm. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  26. ^ "NetEase Games' Knives Out battlefield is spreading to PlayStation 4". Gamasutra. September 11, 2018. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  27. ^ Inc, 网易,NetEase; Studio, Titan. "Creative Destruction: A Sandbox Survival Game on Mobile".
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Minecraft is coming to China".
  30. ^ "Hypixel is coming to China".
  31. ^ "The Next Step For EVE China & Serenity – Announcing Partnership With NetEase! | EVE Online". EVE Online. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  32. ^ Moyen, Motek (19 November 2018). "'Diablo Immortal' Is An Imminent Strong Tailwind For NetEase". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  33. ^ "NetEase North America". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ Beam, Christopher (May 1, 2014). "The Secret Messages Inside Chinese URLs". The New Republic. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

External links[edit]