According to Chinese news source Sina, someone operating under the name ‘Yi Mei’ purchased 96,000 BTC (valued at just over $1 billion) from an unnamed exchange.
Screenshots of conversations by alleged close friends of William Ding, the billionaire CEO of NetEase, led to widespread rumors that Ding may have been the man masquerading as Yi Mei.
The rumors became so serious that Ding eventually had to publicly address them, saying that he has never owned Bitcoin and that he has “great concerns” about the future of Bitcoin’s blockchain network.
Despite Ding’s seemingly bearish attitude toward Bitcoin, NetEase seems bullish on blockchain. Earlier this year, the firm confirmed an early investment in ArcBlock, a US-based blockchain startup that has branded itself “the world’s first blockchain ecosystem for building and deploying decentralized applications.”
Ding will also serve as an advisor to ArcBlock.
ArcBlock’s advisor, William Ding (aka Lei Ding) is the founder and CEO of NetEase, a Chinese tech giant. William Ding made significant contributions to the development of computer networks in China. And he also ranked top 10 on the Hurun Rich List 2017. #ArcBlock #blockchain #ICO pic.twitter.com/SJdehCCJpB
— ArcBlock (@ArcBlock_io) January 9, 2018
Who is William Ding?
Ding was declared as China’s richest man in 2003 when he also became the first internet and gaming billionaire in the country. Today, Forbes estimates Ding’s net worth at $18.2 billion
Founded by Ding in 1997, NetEase is a Chinese internet technology firm that provides “content, community, communications, and commerce“, but the company is perhaps best known for its vast presence in online gaming.
In addition to the popular Fantasy Westward Journey II and New Westward Journey II, NetEase is also responsible for the Chinese operations of some of the most popular international online games, including World of Warcraft.
NetEase started receiving greater international attention when its revenue rose by 67 percent in 2016 to $5.5 billion.