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NetEase founder steps down amid Chinese tech restrictions

NetEase founder steps down amid Chinese tech restrictions

The founder and chief executive officer to NetEase, William Ding Lei, has resigned from a number of his management positions at the firm.

As reported by South China Morning Post, the exec has stepped down from his role as director, general manager and legal representative of NetEase Media. He has been replaced by Li Li, the CEO of the NetEase Media incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Apparently, this is "normal" business operations, according to a comment from NetEase.

This is seemingly due to the increasing restrictions there are on the tech and internet sectors in China at the moment. New laws have come into effect that legislates when minors can play games and for how long they are able to do so. The approval process for games to be released in China is also set to become stricter

There is also the possibility of another round of restrictions coming into effect.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.