Anshe Chung Becomes First Virtual World Millionaire
Plush City @ Second Life and Wuhan, China @ Real Life 26-Nov-2006
Anshe Chung has become the first online personality to achieve a net worth exceeding one million US dollars from profits entirely earned inside a virtual world.
Recently featured on the cover of Business Week Magazine, Anshe Chung is a resident in the virtual world Second Life. Inside Second Life, Anshe buys and develops virtual real-estate in an official currency, known as Linden Dollars, which is convertible to US Dollars. There is also a liquid market in virtual real estate, making it possible to assess the value of her total holdings using publicly available statistics.
The fortune Anshe Chung commands in Second Life includes virtual real estate that is equivalent to 36 square kilometers of land – this property is supported by 550 servers or land "simulators". In addition to her virtual real estate holdings, Anshe has "cash" holdings of several million Linden Dollars, several virtual shopping malls, virtual store chains, and she has established several virtual brands in Second Life. She also has significant virtual stock market investments in Second Life companies.
Anshe Chung's achievement is all the more remarkable because the fortune was developed over a period of two and a half years from an initial investment of $9.95 for a Second Life account by Anshe's creator, Ailin Graef. Anshe/Ailin achieved her fortune by beginning with small scale purchases of virtual real estate which she then subdivided and developed with landscaping and themed architectural builds for rental and resale. Her operations have since grown to include the development and sale of properties for large scale real world corporations, and have led to a real life "spin off" corporation called Anshe Chung Studios, which develops immersive 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping.
Ailin Graef was born and raised in Hubei, China, but is currently a citizen of Germany. She runs Anshe Chung Studios with her husband Guntram Graef, who serves as CEO of the company. Anshe Chung Studios has offices in Wuhan, China and is currently seeking to expand its workforce from 25 to 50. (Pictures of the Wuhan offices are available here).
The valuation of the virtual land holdings is based on property value statistics published by Linden Lab and current simulator prices. Based on these statistics a valuation of one million dollars in virtual assets is conservative, and the actual value may be significantly higher.
This estimate only includes the valuation of the avatar Anshe Chung's virtual assets at current market rates. It does not include the real world assets of Anshe Chung Studios. It also does not include any valuation based on expected revenue, expected profits or any other intangible business equity (such as brand value or good will). It does not include assets owned in other virtual worlds such as IMVU, There or Entropia Universe.
Anshe Chung and Anshe Chung Studios are independent and not affiliated with other entities such as virtual world platform operators or marketing firms. Anshe Chung Studios is fully owned by Anshe Chung's creator and her partner and has been wholly financed from virtual world profits.
Above all, Anshe Chung stresses the importance of community in her vision of the virtual worlds and work spaces that she and others are pioneering together. Her goal is not merely to build a corporation, but to foster the development and growth of online communities, and to help make the entry of real world corporations into Second Life and other regions of the metaverse as frictionless as possible. It is her philosophy that Second Life is above all a social space, and that corporate entrants that respect the community will be the most successful.
Anshe Chung will be available to answer questions by the media on a press conference in Mengjing @ Second Life scheduled for Tuesday 28th November at 9 am PST. For special media inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that Anshe Chung Studios is in a phase of rapid growth and that ACS will have to prioritize media requests.