The CEO and co-founder of a Shanghai-based Chinese game company XD inc. plans to leave China next year, according to an internal notice, citing family reasons and increased overseas gambling opportunities.
Huang Yimeng, 40, who was ranked last year by Forbes worth $1.2 billion, said he was preparing to move overseas “after the upcoming summer break”, without disclosing the destination.
His announcement, which XD has confirmed and said stems primarily from family reasons, however, comes as a brutal crackdown on the gaming industry by Beijing is prompting many local businesses to look overseas. China’s zero Covid policy, which resulted in a two-month lockdown in Shanghai, is also leading to a wave of emigration.
According to a report from FinancialTimeswho said “searches on Tencent’s WeChat platform for ‘how to move to Canada’ jumped nearly 3,000%” in late March, citing a study by the US Council for Foreign Relations.
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Focus on work, family
XD, which Huang co-founded in 2009, has made a name for itself in China as a publisher of small indie games and was among the first companies to receive a license earlier this year after Beijing lifted a near freeze. nine months on game approvals.
“I personally give equal priority to career and family, and in the future, our company’s overseas operations will account for a higher proportion,” Huang said in the memo, adding that his vision was for XD to become a global company.
Although he did not mention Beijing’s regulatory policies or the Shanghai lockdown, which he experienced, he said he hoped China’s Covid policy could be relaxed.
“The ideal situation is that our national Covid policies can be more relaxed a year from now, and international relations can be calmer and more open, in which case we can all move frequently according to the needs of our work and our lives” , Huang said in the note.
He declined to comment further and referred to the company’s statement.
Huang will travel between China and overseas frequently and does not plan to adopt a foreign nationality, XD said, adding that his plan is unrelated to the current situation and the company’s future prospects.
Its position will also remain unchanged and the company has first drawn up an overseas expansion plan in 2021, he added.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard