William Lei Ding: is there a family office?

This article directly stems from the research process for our European single family office database. Our list of venture capital focused single family offices includes the most important family investment vehicles that invest in promising startups, amongst others within the travel and hospitality sector.

You might also like the list of the 800 largest travel venture capital investors, curated by our partner portal ThousandInvestors.

William Ding is the founder and CEO of NetEase, which was established in 1997. In 2003, Ding became China’s richest man and their first internet and gaming billionaire. As of February 2023, William has an estimated net worth of $28.2bn putting him as the 48th richest person in the world according to Forbes. In this article, we will investigate if William Ding manages his wealth through a family office.

No family office but manages investments through NetEase

 William Ding has a 44% stake in his publicly traded gaming platform, NetEase. As of June 2022, the company’s email system had almost 500 million registered users. It was originally founded in 1997 as China’s first free emailing system which now offers news services and online gaming. NetEase has developed partnerships with several global companies such as Microsoft’s subsidiary Mojang and Blizzard Entertainment. William has used his NetEase platform to invest in education. NetEase invested $1.6m to translate over 8,000 of American college classes and offered a free platform for Chinese students to learn. In 2018 Ding also invested $14.5m in Eastedu Science & Technology, an online platform that will help improve the teaching quality as well as increase access to the platform. The NetEase owner has also invested in organic farming to encourage Chinese people to return to the Zhejiang Province and increase food production in turn for better wages.

Picture source: Florian Olivo

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