The proudest of fans purchasing overprized merchandise of their favorite movie or expensive memorabilia from auctions cannot 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 hasn’t shied away from spending close to $100 million to make his company headquarters look like the Star Trek spaceship. The chairman of NetDragon Websoft, one of China’s most popular mobile Internet providers, purchased 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 the fascinating facade of fandom, the only licensed Star Trek building in the world.
This $97 million building is the biggest and most expensive homage to Star Trek
Located in the eastern city of Fuzhou, the six-floor building is heavily inspired by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, which appeared in three ‘Star Trek movies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dubbed the ‘Enterprise,’ the $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.
Construction o the 853-foot building commenced in October 2010 and was completed in 2014. Interestingly from the base, the building looks absolutely ordinary. However, the grandeur of the structure can be witnessed from a drone view or from the comfort of your home on Google Earth.
The Enterprise comprises not only an impressive starship shape but comes with amenities like a football field and four tennis courts situated on a circular plot of land surrounded by water. Dejian installed automatic sliding gates to divide the workspaces as a hardcore Trekkie. In addition, massive 30-foot metal slides help employees travel from the third floor to the ground floor in a flash, much like in the movies.
The wonders of the wonderful office block also include a life-sized Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton replica, modeled after a famous one discovered in South Dakota in 1987.
The Star Trek-inspired office is also different in terms of the activities offered on campus. From a train passing through, to a VR experience centre, horse riding, swimming pool, a sports field and a serene artificial lake, there is loads to do besides work. Inside, employees revel in additions like a well-lit carousel, avant-garde interiors and Hui-style architecture.
So grant was the idea that CBS thought it was a joke
Daily life often inspires the content of the big screen, and it is seldom the other way around. Perhaps, that is why CBS first dismissed the idea as a joke.’That was their first time dealing with issue like this, and at first, they thought that it was a joke. They realized somebody in China actually did want to work out a building modeled on the USS Enterprise only after we sent the relevant legal documents,’ said the company in an email to the Wall Street Journal.
Who is Dr. Liu Dejian
That the online game developer Liu Dejian is a die-hard Trekkie is now well-known. The 50-year-old University of Kansas alumni and founder of NetDragon Websoft, is also a board member of Chinese search engine giant Baidu. In 2021, Dejian received a doctorate in Education from Beijing Normal University. His fascination with the Internet began during his study in the USA when he established a website for marketing software. Returning to the PRC, he founded NetDragon (Fujian) in 1999. The man has since overseen the strategic business development of the Group and is the chief game designer of the online game products.
About NetDragon Websoft
NetDragon Websoft is a company that creates massively multiplayer online games and mobile applications. Dr. Liu Dejian founded the company in 1999 and debuted its first product in 2002. NetDragon sold its app store, 91 Wireless, to Baidu for $1.85 billion in what was dubbed the biggest deal ever in China’s IT sector.
Dr Liu Dejian recently created quite a buzz by appointing an artificial intelligence-supported virtual human being as the general manager. The virtual CEO, Ms. Tang Yu started her position in the company’s principal subsidiary, Fujian NetDragon Websoft. in 2021, NetDragon Websoft, a global leader in building internet communities, saw another year of strong all-round performance, reaching RMB7.0 billion ($1 billion) in revenue.