William Ding Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What is William Ding’s Net Worth?

William Ding, also known as Ding Lei, is a prominent Chinese entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of NetEase, one of China’s largest internet and online gaming companies. As of 2024, William Ding’s net worth is estimated to be around $30.7 billion. The majority of Ding’s wealth comes from his 45% stake in NetEase, which he owns through Shining Globe International, a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

NetEase’s revenue in 2022 was reported to be $14.3 billion, with significant contributions from its gaming division, which includes popular titles like “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch”

Ding has diversified his investments beyond gaming. In 2009, he ventured into pig farming due to concerns about food safety in China. NetEase’s e-commerce arm, Yanxuan, sells pork sourced from Ding’s farms.

NetEase has also expanded into AI, e-commerce, music, education, and media. The company aims to increase its international sales to nearly half of its total revenue.

Despite challenges in China’s economic recovery, NetEase has performed well, with its shares rising significantly. This has contributed to Ding’s net worth increasing by $12.2 billion since October 2023.

Here’s the breakdown of William Ding’s net worth:

Name:

William Ding

Net Worth:

$31.4 Billion

Date of Birth:

Apr 25, 1938 – May 10, 2024 (86 years old)

Profession:

Internet Entrepreneur, Businessperson

If you’re curious about how we estimate a celebrity’s net worth, you can check out our methodology here.

William Ding

Early Life

William Ding, also known as Ding Lei, was born on October 1, 1971, in Fenghua, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. He grew up in a modest family, with his father working as an engineer at a state research institute. From a young age, Ding showed a keen interest in technology and electronics. He demonstrated his technical prowess early on by assembling a six-tube radio while still in middle school.

Ding pursued higher education at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication technology. His time at university was marked by a deep engagement with IT books and a penchant for asking unconventional questions, which set him apart from his peers. After graduation, Ding initially worked as a telecommunications engineer in Ningbo before moving to Guangzhou to work for Sybase, a US-based software solutions provider.

Career

William Ding’s career took a significant turn when he founded NetEase in 1997 with two friends and about $60,000. Initially, NetEase provided China’s first free email service, which quickly gained popularity. Under Ding’s leadership, NetEase expanded its services to include online bulletin boards, news services, and internet-based games. The company went public in 2000, listing on the NASDAQ.

NetEase faced a major setback in 2001 when it was delisted from NASDAQ due to allegations of financial misreporting. However, the company made a remarkable comeback, with its share value rising significantly by 2002.

Over the years, NetEase has grown into one of China’s largest internet and online gaming companies, with a market capitalization of over $70 billion as of 2021. The company operates several subsidiaries, including NetEase Games, NetEase Cloud Music, NetEase Youdao, and NetEase Yanxuan.

Ding’s strategic vision has led NetEase to diversify into various sectors, including e-commerce, music streaming, and online education. In 2012, he even ventured into sustainable pork production to address food safety concerns in China. NetEase’s revenue in 2022 was reported to be $14.3 billion, with significant contributions from its gaming division.

Personal Life

William Ding is married to Wang Xunfang, and the couple has three children. Despite his immense wealth and success, Ding is known for his modest lifestyle and dedication to his work.

He has a keen interest in classical Chinese poetry and has been involved in various philanthropic activities, including significant donations to education initiatives in China.

Ding’s personal investments include a $29 million mansion in Bel Air, Los Angeles, which he purchased from Elon Musk in 2020. He is also an investor in several Chinese startups, such as Didi Chuxing, Xiaomi, and Meituan Dianping. 

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