China Unicom, NetDragon & Two Major National Research Institutions Announce Joint Venture

To Foster Education Informatization and Achieve Education Modernization

HONG KONG, May 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited ("NetDragon" or "the Company", Hong Kong Stock Code: 777), a global leader in building internet communities, is pleased to announce that NetDragon, China United Network Communications Limited ("China Unicom") and National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning and National Engineering Laboratory For Educational Big Data reached a strategic cooperation agreement on the establishment of a smart education joint venture – Yunqi Smart Education Technology Company Limited ("Yunqi Smart"). The joint venture will integrate the advantages of all parties, and will take charge of innovation construction and product development. It aims to provide education informatization products and services to G-end, B-end and C-end users across the country, thus fostering education informatization 2.0 and achieving education modernization.

Yunqi Smart is a mixed-ownership internet technology company specialized in smart education business under China Unicom. The joint venture will focus on the education industry, based on China Unicom's communication and innovation capabilities in 5G, big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things and blockchain, NetDragon's artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D platforms, education informatization-related software and hardware capabilities, and also the practice of education informatization by National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning and National Engineering Laboratory For Educational Big Data. It will provide products and solution services for actual use cases to target customers as well as an ecosystem for the industry. In particular, the joint venture will offer education products and related services through self-development or partnerships, such as regional education management platforms and cloud classrooms, aid the construction of "smart education demonstration zone", and establish sustainable business models, with the goal to be the leading company of education informatization.

China Unicom's Senior Vice President Liang Baojun said, "Yunqi Smart is another important achievement of China Unicom's comprehensive digital transformation. It is a mixed-ownership internet technology company jointly developed by China Unicom and its partners under strategic cooperation in the field of smart education. Yunqi Smart will rely on the resources of China Unicom in the fields including 5G, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, combined with the authority and scientific research capabilities of the two national research institutions, and will leverage NetDragon's strength and brand influence in the field of smart education, to provide customers with product, services and comprehensive solutions across the full value chain of educational informatization."

NetDragon's Founder and Chairman Liu Dejian commented, "NetDragon has always been committed to providing customers with the best education technologies. With the advent of the 5G era, we expect this cooperation to achieve new breakthroughs with respect to innovation and R&D of education informatization products and services." He continued, "China Unicom not only has clear channel advantages that can reach G-end, B-end and C-end customers on a large scale, its internet technology is also at the cutting-edge level, with country leading cloud computing platform, big data platform and Internet of Things platform, whereas the two major national research institutions have authoritative advantages in research and development of educational informatization, personnel training and exploration and practice. This collaboration among strong hands in the field of education will ensure breakthroughs in terms of innovation and development of education informatization products and services."

National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning and National Engineering Laboratory For Educational Big Data's Executive Deputy Director Dr. Liu Sanya said, "The country has always attached great importance to education informatization. The National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning and National Engineering Laboratory For Educational Big Data are excited to partner with two companies with top technologies in China Unicom and NetDragon, and look forward to the joint venture's ability to elevate education informatization from concept to practice to a higher level."

In recent years, education informatization has received great attention throughout the country. The authorities said that "building a strong education nation is the fundamental construction of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and education must be prioritized.", The Ministry of Education published the "Action Plan for Education Informatization 2.0" in 2018, proposing to promote "deep integration of information technology and smart technology into the full process of education, while fostering improved teaching, optimizing management, and improving performance."

The newly established joint venture's headquarter will be located in Wuhan. Wuhan is a pilot city of large-scale application of the national education resources and public services platform, based on the construction of "Three Links and Two Platforms" and the goal to promote education equality and improve education quality, which are helpful for the construction of the national "smart education demonstration zone".

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About China United Network Communications Limited

China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. ("China Unicom") was officially established on January 6, 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. It has subsidiaries in 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) across China and many countries and regions around the world. It owns a modern communication network with nationwide coverage and global reach and operates a wide range of services, including fixed communication services, mobile communication services, domestic and international communication facilities services, data communication services, network access services, telecom value-added services, and system integration related to information and communication services.

China Unicom is the only Chinese telecom operator listed on the stock exchanges of New York, Hong Kong, and Shanghai and the only central State-owned enterprise (SOE) to adopt group-wide mixed-ownership reform among all pilot-run central SOEs.

About National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning

National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning (NERCEL) is based on and supported by Central China Normal University (CCNU). In 2009, it was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (MOST), in 2013 it passed the acceptance of the MOST with distinction and became China's only national-level research base in the field of educational informatization.

Oriented by the original technological and integrated innovations, NERCEL is to serve the informatization and modernization of China's education system, to promote the standardization of educational information technology and products, and to enhance the technological innovation capability, scientific research achievements as well as industrialization transformation level in the field of educational informatization.

About National Engineering Laboratory For Educational Big Data

National Engineering Laboratory for Educational Big Data is China's first national engineering laboratory for the education industry, specializing in educational big data research and application innovation. In January 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the "Notice of the General Office of the National Development and Reform Commission on the Formation of the National Engineering Laboratory for Educational Big Data", which officially approved Central China Normal University to be the leading unit and will be jointly built with relevant units.

About NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited

NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) is a global leader in building internet communities with a long track record of developing and scaling multiple internet and mobile platforms that impact hundreds of millions of users. These include China's number one online gaming portal, 17173.com, and China's most influential smartphone app store platform, 91 Wireless, which was sold to Baidu for US$1.9 billion in 2013 as the largest Internet M&A transaction in China.

Established in 1999, NetDragon is one of the most reputable and well-known online game developers in China with a history of successful game titles including Eudemons Online, Heroes Evolved and Conquer Online. In recent years, NetDragon has also started to scale its online education business on the back of management's vision to create the largest global online learning community, and to bring the "classroom of the future" to every school around the world. For more information, please visit www.netdragon.com.

For investor enquiries, please contact:
NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited
Ms. Maggie Zhou
Senior Director of Investor Relations
Tel.: +852 2850 7266 / +86 591 8390 2825
Email: maggie@nd.com.cn  
Website: ir.netdragon.com  

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