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Chinese tech exec spends $100M to create Star Trek-inspired offices

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NetDragon Websoft

A Chinese technology executive who sits on the board of search giant Baidu has built an office block in the shape of Star Trek's USS Enterprise. The building, which can be seen in the aerial footage below, will function as office space for Chinese game developer NetDragon Websoft, reports The Wall Street Journal. NetDragon's founder, the 43-year-old Liu Dejian, is reportedly a bit of a Trekkie (who'd have guessed?) and spent a total of 600 million yuan ($97 million) building the 260-meter-long architectural oddity.

"They thought that it was a joke."

Construction reportedly began in October 2010 in the coastal city of Changle in China's Fujian province, and finished in October last year. NetDragon even contacted the TV show's rights holder CBS to get permission to construct the office. "That was their first time dealing with [an] issue like this and at first they thought that it was a joke," NetDragon told The Wall Street Journal by email. "They realized somebody in China actually did want to work out a building modeled on the USS Enterprise only after we sent the relevant legal documents."

For those who might be doubting the building's very existence, the USS Enterprise also appears in Google Maps. The greater mystery, however, is which particular version of the spaceship Dejian chose to model the building on. Opinion at The Verge wavers between the NCC-1701-D and NCC-1701-E models of the Enterprise, but mainly we're just happy it's no misguided Stars Wars monstrosity.

Verge Video: The future of communication as inspired by Star Trek