NetEase.com Launches Proprietary Online Game
Fee-based Service Provides New Potential Source of Revenue
NetEase.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES), a leading Internet technology provider in China, today announced the launch of its new proprietary massively multi-player online role playing game, "Westward Journey Online."
An online role-playing game designed for prolonged interaction through a detailed story line, "Westward Journey Online" will charge users based on the time played. Users need to buy a special NetEase card containing loyalty points which can be used to pay for playing time on "Western Journey Online" and for some of NetEase's other fee-based services, such as VIP e-mail and online dating.
Users can buy the NetEase card and the software for this game through a variety of offline channels including designated Internet cafes, software outlets, and bookstores. Given the challenges of making online payments in China, the company believes that the availability of an offline payment system broadens the number of users who will be able to play the game. To further enhance the usability of NetEase's fee-based services, the company plans to introduce an online payment option in the near future.
Ted Sun, acting Chief Executive Officer of NetEase, said, "NetEase will strive to remain a leading online destination for Internet users in China. We will focus on leveraging our user base of 39.8 million to increase our advertising revenue, and will actively work to monetize that user base through the development of value-added services such as online games."
Based on the well-known Chinese legend of the Monkey King, "Westward Journey Online" boasts state-of-the-art graphics and playability. It was created by NetEase's design and production team, drawing from the resources of Guangzhou Tianxia Technology, a leading game software developer acquired by NetEase earlier this year.
"'Westward Journey Online' constitutes a key initiative by NetEase into online gaming, an extremely popular market segment among Chinese Internet users," said William Ding, NetEase's Chief Architect.
NetEase now offers several fee-based products that are growing in popularity, including premium e-mail, personal homepages, online dating, online games and short messaging services.
"Westward Journey Online" is now available online at: http://xy.163.com.
NetEase.com, Inc. is a leading China-based Internet technology company that pioneered the development of applications, services and other technologies for the Internet in China. The NetEase.com Web sites, operated by a company affiliate, organize and provide access to 18 content channels through distribution arrangements with more than 130 international and domestic content providers. In addition, the NetEase.com Web sites contain more than 1.5 million personal home pages. These pages, created and maintained by users, enable users to share information, communicate about interests and areas of expertise, and publish personal content accessible by other Chinese Internet users. The sites also offer online interactive community services through 1,500 community forums and more than 115,000 personal community forums created by registered users. At the end of November 2001, the number of simultaneous chat room participants reached 55,476 during peak hours, and the number of registered users of the NetEase.com Web sites reached 39.81 million. The average number of daily page views was over 169.8 million in November 2001.
NetEase.com also offers auction and online mall technology services that provide opportunities for e-commerce and traditional businesses to establish an online e-commerce presence on the NetEase.com Web sites.
About NetEase.com, Inc.
-->This press release contains statements of a forward-looking nature. These statements are made under the ``safe harbor'' provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. The accuracy of these statements may be impacted by a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated, including risks related to: the risk that "Westward Journey Online" and NetEase's other fee-based services will not be as popular and/or will not generate as much revenue as the company anticipates; the risk that NetEase will not be able to respond to changes in the tastes and attitudes of China's Internet users toward online games and other fee-based services in a timely manner; the risk that NetEase's offline payment system will be not be attractive to China's Internet users or will not work as effectively as expected; the ability of NetEase to implement an online payment option for its fee-based services that is secure and attractive to Internet users; the risk that NetEase's efforts to achieve profitability may not be successful; the risk that the popularity of online games among China's Internet users may not grow or may decline; the possible adverse effects on NetEase's business and the market for its shares arising from the civil litigation that has been initiated against the company and other parties in New York and from the delisting of NetEase's American Depositary Shares from The Nasdaq National Market if the company loses its ongoing appeal from delisting with Nasdaq; the risk that other lawsuits or investigatory actions could be threatened or commenced; the possibility that NetEase and its Board of Directors have not implemented effective or complete steps to ensure that the circumstances which led to NetEase's restatement of its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2000 will not recur; NetEase's ability to develop and implement additional operational and financial systems to manage expanding operations; the risk that security, reliability and confidentiality concerns may impede broad use of the Internet; and other risks outlined in NetEase's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statement on Form F-1, as amended. NetEase.com does not undertake any obligation to update this forward-looking information, except as required under applicable law.