Ted Sun, the internet entrepreneur credited with guiding mainland online gaming company and Web portal NetEase from a period of financial instability into one of China's most successful internet companies, has died at the age of 37. Mr Sun, who was single, died on September 18 in Hong Kong from an undisclosed long-term illness. He had been on medical leave since April last year. 'Ted Sun brought a personal level of commitment, energy and integrity to everything he did,' the company's chief financial officer, Denny Lee, said. 'Our deepest sympathy and condolences are expressed to his family. He will be greatly missed by all of us.' Mr Sun was named acting chief executive at Beijing-based NetEase in September 2001 following a period of intense management turmoil and financial instability, and with the firm facing suspension from the Nasdaq stock exchange. Under Mr Sun, NetEase's stock price rose from below US$1 to a high of US$86.60 in the week before his death. More significantly, the company was transformed from a loss-making Web portal into a leading online gaming company, with profits of 441 million yuan last year. 'NetEase was the first Chinese portal to record a profit [in 2003],' a spokesman for the firm said on Friday. 'It proved to western investors the strength and potential of China's internet sector.' The firm was recently described by Morgan Stanley in its China internet report as being in 'a class by itself' for its record of innovation and its competitive edge. The company's multi-play role-playing game Fantasy Westward Journey recently became the most played online game in China, and NetEase.com ranks fourth in Web traffic among all Chinese internet companies, according to internet monitors Alexa.com. Mr Sun graduated with a bachelor of science degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.