Beijing-based online gaming company to pay $2.3 million for steak lunch with Warren Buffett

A Beijing-based online gaming company emerged as the highest bidder in an online auction of a steak lunch with Warren Buffett. Da Lian Zeus Entertainment Company would donate $2,345,678 to share a meal with the billionaire investor, which topped the $2.17 million winning bid last year but amounted to roughly two-thirds of the record $3,456,789 paid by an anonymous bidder in 2012.

Bidders for the five-day auction on eBay had to go through a pre-qualification process.

The winner, and up to seven others, would get to share a lunch with Buffett at New York City's Smith & Wollensky steakhouse. Some winners, however, had preferred to meet with Buffett in his home town of Omaha.

For the 16th consecutive year, the proceeds from the auction would go towards San Francisco's Glide Foundation, which describes its mission as trying to "alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalisation."

The highest final bid in the 16 years was $3,456,789 in 2012 made by a winner who chose to remain anonymous. The high bidder last year was Andy Chua of Singapore, who paid almost $2.2 million.

The foundation was a favorite charity of Buffett's late wife, Susan Thompson Buffett.

Buffett's 16 lunch auctions had over the years raised about $20 million for Glide.

The online auction on eBay opened on Sunday at $25,000 and had hit $1 million by Monday. The auction received 76 bids, by the time it closed at 9:30 pm on Friday.

Rev Cecil Williams, pastor of Glide Memorial Church, said that he was ''deeply grateful to Buffett for agreeing to the lunch auction.''

Glide spokeswoman Denise Lamott said they were thrilled with the amount of this year's bid.