NetEase is partnering with the prominent toy brand Mattel to start a new game development studio.
The studio will be called Mattel163; the "163" is a reference to NetEase's URL in the early years of the company (www.163.com), which was itself a reference to the numerical code Chinese internet users had to enter to gain access to the web.
NetEase and Mattel will both own 50 per cent of the new venture, though further details of the partnership were not disclosed. Mattel163 will create "a wide variety of digital experiences" based on Mattel's portfolio of IPs, which includes Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price
In a statement, NetEase corporate VP Benjamin Ha also highlighted the company's experience in education - it was the first company to launch massive open online courses in China.
"Mattel has been defining the future of learning and play for generations, and we are honored to be partnering to create a new world-class publishing and development studio in gaming and education," he said.
"By combining NetEase's global footprint and established roots in gaming and education with Mattel's iconic consumer brands, Mattel163 will be able to bring even more creative and innovative gaming and educational experiences to users around the world."
Mattel163's first game will be based on the classic game UNO. It is already available on Facebook Messenger, and will soon launch as an app for both iOS and Android.