Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#51 William Ding $17.1B

Random fact: Began raising pigs in 2011 to allay concerns about food safety.

Overview

Ding is chairman and largest shareholder of NetEase, an online games operator. The Beijing-based company is best known for bringing game titles like Overwatch and Westward Journey to local players. NetEase also operates an e-commerce platform called Kaola and reported revenue of $5.7 billion in 2016.

As of May 25, 2017:
Last change -$200M (-1.2%)
YTD change +$4.28B (+33.4%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset NTES US Equity
Citizenship China
Age 45
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

William Ding's net worth of $17.1B can buy ...

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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Ding's fortune is derived from his 44 percent stake in publicly traded NetEase, an online games operator. He owns the shares through British Virgin Islands-based Shining Globe International, according to NetEase's 2015 annual report. His stake consists of 2 million American depositary shares and 1.4 billion ordinary shares. Each ADS is worth 25 ordinary shares.

The value of his cash holdings is based on an analysis of dividend income, taxes and market performance.

Ding declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1971
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Communications, University of Electronic Science & Technology of China, Bachelor's Degree Engineering, University of Electronic Science & Technology of China, Bachelor's Degree

William Ding was born in 1971 in eastern China's Zhejiang province, the son of an engineer who worked at a state research institute. Ding developed an affinity for electronic gadgets while young and managed to assemble a six-tube radio when he was in middle school. He attended the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in the city of Chengdu, where he studied computer science and got a bachelor's degree in communication technology.

Upon graduation, he took a government job as a telecommunications engineer in his hometown of Ningbo and quit two years later. He headed south to Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, and started to work for U.S. software solutions provider Sybase, which was acquired by SAP AG in 2010.

Ding founded NetEase in 1997 with two friends and about $60,000 in Guangzhou, offering China's first free e-mail service. NetEase expanded its business to an online bulletin board, news services and internet-based games.

The company sold shares in an initial public offering in 2000. Ding shifted his business focus to sectors outside the Internet in 2011, including a business raising pigs that he started in an effort to allay fears about food safety in China.

Milestones
  • 1971 William Lei Ding is born in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, in eastern China.
  • 1997 Founds NetEase in southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
  • 2000 NetEase sells shares in an initial public offering.
  • 2001 Steps down as chairman of NetEase and remains its largest shareholder.
  • 2005 Ding returns as chief executive officer of NetEase.
  • 2009 NetEase introduces World of Warcraft in China.
  • 2011 Ventures into raising pigs.
  • 2011 Starts offering StarCraft II to Chinese online game players.