Chen Tianqiao is known as "the Chinese Bill Gates", the head of China's leading on-line game operator -- "Shanda Networking".
Chen, together with four friends, started his own Internet company at the age of 26. Three years later, his company has 68 percent of the domestic Internet game market. The on-line games "Legendary" and "Chuangqi" exclusively run by Chen's company, are the most profitable Internet games in China, and Chen has become a legendary figure in the minds of millions of Chinese young people.
Prior to establishing Shanda in 1999, Chen served as Vice-Director of the Office of the President of Kinghing Trust and Investment Company Ltd. From 1994 to 1998, he served in various management positions with Shanghai Lujiazui Group. Chen holds a Bachelor¡¯s in Economics from the prestigious Fudan University.
Shanda (Nasdaq:SNDA) is the largest operator of online games in China in terms of estimated 2003 game revenues according to International Data Corporation, or IDC, a leading market research firm. Shanda offers a portfolio of online games that users play over the internet. The games that Shanda operates are licensed to it by third parties as well as developed by Shanda itself in-house. The games that Shanda offers include The Legend of Mir II, which was the most popular online game in China according to users surveyed by IDC, and The World of Legend, which is the first online game that Shanda developed in-house. Shanda operates both massively multiplayer online games, including massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, and casual games. The interactive and group oriented nature of these games creates a strong sense of community among users, and the large size of Shanda's user base contributes to user loyalty and helps to attract new users.
Shanda's MMORPGs allow thousands of users to interact with one another in a virtual world by assuming ongoing roles or characters with different features. The games are continuous, and players accumulate features and communicate with one another through instant messaging. Because MMORPGs require a significant amount of time to master, they tend to have a high degree of user stickiness, which means that users tend to spend longer amounts of time playing these games than using other internet applications. Shanda's casual games are less complex and time consuming than MMORPGs, but attract a broader range of users as well as more home users.