A Chinese tycoon spent US$100 million on a Star Trek HQ: NetDragon Websoft’s sci-fi-obsessed Liu Dejian replicated the Starship Enterprise for his offices – and just appointed an AI CEO

Netdragon Websoft’s Star Trek-inspired headquarters is quite literally like something out of a movie – they even paid CBS for the rights. Photo: NetDragon
Even the most diehard Star Trek fan buying expensive memorabilia at auction could never hope to match the mania of this sci-fi-obsessed Chinese tycoon. Mega fan and wealthy tech entrepreneur Liu Dejian is a tough one to beat. He has spent close to US$100 million to make his company headquarters look exactly like the Star Trek spaceship. Liu’s net worth is estimated at US$660 million, according to the annual Hurun report on China’s wealthiest individuals.
Beam me up, Scotty: NetDragon’s HQ’s Star Trek inspiration is made clear from the air. Photo: NetDragon

The executive director of NetDragon Websoft, one of China’s most popular mobile internet providers, bought the rights from CBS to build a home and an office block in the Chinese city of Fuzhou based on the American science fiction entertainment franchise.

Let’s take a closer look at this incredible tribute – the only licensed Star Trek building in the world.

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A US$97 million mega office for employees

The six-floor building is heavily inspired by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, which appeared in three Star Trek films in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dubbed “The Enterprise”, the US$97 million tower emulates the emblematic circular contours and tubular features of the show’s spaceship, according to images on the website of the People’s Daily newspaper.

NetDragon employees don’t just get to enjoy novel perks like tennis courts and swimming pools, but sliding doors à la the Starship Enterprise. Photo: Arch20

Construction on the 260-metre-long (853-foot-long) building commenced in October 2010 and was completed in 2014. From the base, the building actually looks quite ordinary. However, the grandeur of the structure can be witnessed from drone footage – or from the comfort of your home on Google Earth.

Located in the eastern province of Fujian in China, NetDragon’s Star Trek-inspired headquarters also has a sea view. Photo: NetDragon

The Enterprise comprises not only an impressive starship shape, but comes with amenities including a football field and four tennis courts situated on a circular plot of land surrounded by water. Proving that he really is a hardcore Trekkie, Liu has even installed automatic sliding gates to divide the workspaces inside the building. In addition, massive 9-metre (30-foot) metal slides help employees travel from the third floor to the ground floor in a flash, much like in the films.

The NetDragon campus also has a train. Photo: NetDragon

Other wonders of this far-out office block include a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton replica, modelled after a famous one discovered in South Dakota in 1987, according to the Newsmax.

Would Captain Kirk approve of NetDragon’s HQ? We think so … Photo: NetDragon

The Star Trek-inspired office is also unlike any other in terms of the activities offered on campus. From its own railway to a VR experience centre, horseback riding area, swimming pool, sports fields and a serene artificial lake, there’s plenty to do besides work. Inside, employees revel in additions like a well-lit carousel, avant-garde interiors and Hui-style architecture.

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Liu Dejian sold part of NetDragon Websoft to Chinese search engine giant Baidu in 2013. Photo: Arch20

So OTT that CBS thought it was a joke

While daily life often inspires content on the big screen, it is seldom the other way around. Perhaps that’s why CBS initially dismissed the idea. It was reportedly the network’s first time dealing with such a request, and at first it thought that it was a joke.

“They realised somebody in China actually did want to work out a building modelled on the USS Enterprise only after we sent the relevant legal documents,” a spokesperson for NetDragon told The Wall Street Journal.

Liu Dejian studied in Beijing and Kansas and is now worth billions. Photo: Yuuku

So who is the world’s biggest Trekkie?

It’s now well-known that online game developer Liu is a diehard Trekkie The University of Kansas alumnus and founder of NetDragon Websoft was also on the board of Chinese search engine giant Baidu.

In 2021, Liu received a doctorate in education from Beijing Normal University. His fascination with the internet began while he was studying in the US and he established a website for marketing software. After returning to China, he founded NetDragon in 1999. Liu has since overseen the strategic business development of the group and is still chief game designer for the online game products.

Liu Dejian recently caused a stir by appointing a virtual (non-human) CEO at his company NetDragon Websoft. Photo: NetDragon

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A creative mind

NetDragon creates multiplayer online games and mobile applications and Liu debuted its first product in 2002. The company then sold its app store, 91 Wireless, to Baidu for US$1.85 billion in 2013, in what was dubbed the biggest deal ever in China’s IT sector at the time.

Liu recently caused a stir by appointing an AI-supported virtual human being as his company’s general manager. The virtual CEO, Ms Tang Yu, started her position in the company’s principal subsidiary, Fujian NetDragon Websoft, last month. The company, which is a global leader in building internet communities, reached US$1 billion in revenue last year. It seems Liu’s out-there visions are continuing to pay off …

This article originally appeared on Luxurylaunches
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  • The founder of NetDragon Websoft, a gaming and mobile internet company, bought the rights from CBS to build its Fuzhou HQ in the image of the Starship Enterprise
  • The enormous building’s interior even has sliding doors like those in the Star Trek films, and also boasts a swimming pool, tennis courts and a horseback riding area