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With the help of Google Maps, fans of the science fiction franchise “Star Trek” have boldly gone to China to find a new discovery: the USS Enterprise as a work of architecture.
The design of the building has sparked heated discussion online among Trekkies about which ship from the long-running television and movie series it is based on.
Now the mysterious owner has come forward.
The 260-meter long, 100-meter wide, six-floor building was built by Hong Kong-listed Chinese online game developer NetDragon Websoft, whose founder Liu Dejian — a 43-year-old University of Kansas alumni — is a huge fan. Mr. Liu is also a board member of Chinese search engine giant Baidu.
With a total investment of 600 million yuan ($97 million), the building was inspired by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, which appeared in three “Star Trek” movies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It has landed in the coastal city of Changle in China’s southeast Fujian province, where the company’s headquarters is based. Construction started in late October of 2010 and finished in May of 2014. […]