Online and mobile game entrepreneur Wang Yue, the CEO of Shanghai Kingnet Technology, has joined the ranks of the world’s youngest billionaires after the company successfully completed a backdoor listing in China in December.
Wang, 32, received 148.7 million new shares, or 22% of Shenzhen-listed footwear materials maker Taiya Shoes in exchange for his 29.7% stake in Kingnet. Qifei Investment, which is 1.1% owned by Wang, received another 43.9 million new shares, or a 6.5% stake in the listed company for its stake in Kingnet.
Wang’s total holding in Taiya Shoes was worth 9 billion yuan, or $1.4 billion, at last Thursday’s closing price of 60.54 yuan.
Kingnet was founded by Qian Hua and Feng Xianchao in 2008 with 100,000 yuan. Wang paid a 62,500 yuan (about $9,600) to Qian Hua in Aug. 2009 for a 62.5% stake in the company.
Wang, formerly an executive at 51.com in China, has since built Kingnet into a leading online and mobile game developer in China. Kingnet also runs a popular mobile phone application platform, xy.com.
China was expected to surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest mobile game market in 2015, research firm Niko Partners said in September. Chinese billionaires with ties to the online game industry industry include Tencent’s Ma Huateng and Netease’s William Ding. Auto industry entrepreneur Wang Miaotong, chairman of Zhejiang Century Huatong Group, reached the world’s billionaire threshold last month on investor enthusiasm for the company’s digital game acquisition plans.
Taiya Shoes said in December it would raise up to 3.2 billion yuan, or $490 million, by issuing new shares to 10 investors to support its expansion.
Kingnet’s net profit in 2015, 2016 and 2017 is expected to be more than 462 million yuan, 571 million yuan and 701.8 million yuan, or $71.4 million, $88 million and $108.5 million, according a company projection.