Ding Lei, founder and CEO of NetEase, speaks with media in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province on Nov 16, 2018. [Photo/VCG]
Ding Lei was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang province in 1971, and graduated from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. He established NetEase in June 1997 and has been a major force in the development of the internet in China. His powerful observation abilities combined with his dead-on decision-making skills have led NetEase from its origins as a private firm with fewer than 10 employees to its status as one of China's leading internet and online game services providers. It is now listed on the NASDAQ and has over 6,000 staff members.
During NetEase's initial two years of operation, Ding focused on internet application systems. In November 1997, he introduced China's first dual language free email service to users, which was a decisive factor in the prevalence and growth of China's internet industry. The email system was later licensed to a number of internet companies in China. In March 2000, Ding exchanged his post as NetEase CEO to become co-chief technical officer. In March 2001, he devoted his energy to building NetEase's future as the chief architect. From June 2001 to September 2001, he served as acting chief executive officer and acting chief operating officer. In November 2005, the board of directors appointed him as the company's chief executive officer.
Before starting up NetEase in 1997, Ding worked as a technical engineer for China Telecom and a technical support engineer for the US-based database software company Sybase in Chinese mainland. He has accumulated rich and varied experience in his professional life in the internet world. Ding is considered to be an extremely talented professional with a commanding knowledge of the IT industry and internet system integration technology, and a positive force in the growth of China's digital life and business.