Chapter 439: Emergent conflict
The propagation of Weixin was basically founded upon Weibo and Happy Farm itself. Xingchen added a link to Weibo and Happy Farm on the Weixin client, also making it such that those who logged in to Happy Farm through Weixin would obtain a small amount of free fertiliser everyday.
The target group of this strategy was obvious, and it worked quite well too. Although there was indeed some loss in the income obtained from Happy Farm, it was still within acceptable limits.
Of course, it was absolutely impossible for Weibo to off QQ just based on this. QQ’s user base surpassed both of theirs by far too much with many of its users also being wholly unaffected by their maneuvers. A lengthy process would be required for this.
On the first day, over 8 million people downloaded and registered accounts on Weixin.
Meanwhile, Tencent had still yet to mount any direct response to this challenge.
As for results in the box office.
<Crazy Stone> attained 3 million in its first 24 hours of screening. Going by this trend, there should be absolutely no problem at all for it to recoup the 9 million investment sum spent on filming and advertisements. Also, from the ratings, it seemed that there might be a further upward trend if the total number of times the movie was screened was later increased.
<Endless> was the undisputed winner on their first day at the box office. On the first day of the New Year, this major production that claimed to have spent 100 million but had an actual investment sum of 60 million attained a total of 6 million at the box office. This was twice of <Crazy Stone>’s results.
Yet, a comparison of numbers actually still revealed an inkling of crisis for <Endless>. There was more than a ten times gap between the total investment sums of the two movies. As for how many times either movie would be screened, there was a five times difference as well.
The cinemas were a reliable benchmark with which to measure box office in terms of tickets sold. It was really a perfectly normal thing for cinemas to adjust the number of times a movie was screened based on how full the theatres were.
Due to this matter, Tianle was already launching an urgent press release in guaranteeing that the number of slots allocated for their movie would not decrease.
Still, behind <Crazy Stone> existed another organisation which was monetarily invested in this and would benefit from the box office results and continued perks. Tianyi would definitely not sit back and do nothing.
They were to be competing in terms of connections, capabilities and influence. Xu Tingsheng had great confidence in Tianyi here.
Rather than the box office, more worrying for Tianle and Jin Datang were actually the movie’s reputation and ratings.
Over the course of the day, the reputation of <Endless> had already plummeted to an all-time low on the Internet as the worst and most totally undecipherable movie ever as its ratings had plunged to 3.7. The bad impression netizens had of Jin Datang had surely played a part too.
In contrast, due to the positive image that it had previously established which connected them to the hearts of the ordinary citizen and the remarkable quality of the movie itself, the reputation and popularity of <Crazy Stone> had far surpassed that in Xu Tingsheng’s previous life. Alongside all those praises which virtually had no need for logic, all and any voices still attempting to find fault with it were duly quashed.
It had an astonishing rating of 8.4 on Weibo.
Xu Tingsheng was busy working on the computer till the middle of the night. As his entire body ached, he ended up doing a few simple exercises on the floor of the study. As he did sit-ups, Xiang Ning helped to press down his legs. When he did push-ups, she just sat on his back.
Amidst all the activity and cheeriness, Xu Tingsheng’s mood eased greatly.
He cooked some noodles for supper. After their meal, Xu Tingsheng shooed Xiang Ning back to her room to sleep, after which he returned to the study and lit a cigarette. It was a rare occasion on which he was smoking at home.
Afterwards, Xu Tingsheng took a shower, and it was only around 2am that he finally fell asleep.
The next day, he was still in the midst of dreaming when Huang Yaming’s call arrived.
“At the cinemas, those watching <Crazy Stone> have been forced to wait in line for more screenings to be had. News from Tianyi is that our screening instances should immediately rise.”
Next, Hu Chen’s call arrived.
“Tencent has begun its counterattack.”
Firstly, Tencent’s Weibo had gone online.
Secondly, all the games and platforms related to Tencent, QQ fantasy and QQ Games included, had given out free gifts to attract gamers. This was accompanied by its same old, always effective method of giving away QQ coins.
Both moves were targeting them head-on.
Tencent’s Weibo went online with this in mind: If you won’t let me have it easy, I won’t let you have it easy either. Of course, herein could also be seen Tencent’s usual ‘mountain shack’ spirit of imitation.
As for giving away coins, such was a blatant competition of resources. While some might feel that giving away things like virtual currency and goods was really okay, it would actually still affect a company’s operations. When this surpassed a certain point, there would naturally, correspondingly be fewer users who bought them.
Therefore, this was actually another form of resource competition, competing in terms of their income before competing in terms of their reserves.
The mighty Tencent was very generous in this area, much more so than Weibo’s Happy Farm with their few bags of fertiliser.
Right after Xu Tingsheng had got up and turned on the computer, before he could even make any adjustments, a higher-up of Tencent could already be found online saying in an interview: Tencent has never been afraid of competition.
Of course Tencent was not afraid. At this point, at the start of the year 2006, they had virtually never seen defeat in their use of the mountain shack strategy.
In the year 2003, QQ’s mountain shack had defeated ICQ as it had become the monarch of instant communication software in China. As QQ had rapidly risen to prominence, all other instant communication software in the country had slowly faded away into oblivion with a monopoly hence being formed.
In the year 2003, Tencent had imitated Lianzhong in promoting QQ’s gaming platform, focusing mainly on stuff like gambling and chess games. In a mere short year’s time, QQ’s platform had virtually completely toppled what had once been the world’s largest leisure multiplayer gaming platform.
In the year 2005, Tencent had used the mountain shack approach against Kugou as criticisms of it had spread throughout the entirety of the Internet.
Thanks to QQ’s massive user base, it was virtually just like a battle god reborn, fated to obtain victory in whatever battles it partook in. Also, it wanted to as well as was able to do everything. Or rather, it could ‘learn from’ others and do the same in everything, and it would win too. This was the fearful aspect of QQ’s user base. With its ‘human wave tactics’, no one was Tencent’s match.
This way of doing things would only intensify in the future. After reaching their initial success, most Internet entrepreneurs would be unable to sleep soundly at night in fear of that pair of greedy, beady eyes which might zero in on them at any time.
Also, the majority of the ones who were targeted would ultimately had no way of avoiding defeat.
Like games, browsers, virtual keyboards…
Xu Tingsheng knew of the meagre few defeats their mountain shack strategy had seen:
The mountain shack Souba versus Baidu’s Tieba, defeat.
The mountain shack Paipai versus Alibaba’s Taobao, defeat.
Most importantly, Tencent’s Weibo versus Sina Weibo, defeat.
How had Sina Weibo defeated Tencent’s Weibo in his previous life? At the end of the day, the one thing Xu Tingsheng had learnt was this: He definitely had to emerge from those things Tencent was proficient in, facing the abundance and quantity with content and speciality.
QQ was mighty in its numerous users and the interactions between them. Xu Tingsheng had been working on this very thing since a while back, and it was going quite well too. In other words, he was in the midst of encroaching on this domain that presently belonged to QQ.
Meanwhile, Xingchen’s Weibo had its own unique interactions amongst its users as well in a manner which QQ simply lacked. An easy example was this. One had no way of adding their idol on QQ as a friend, but they could still follow their Weibo page and leave comments. Then, these comments could even be seen and replied to.
Therefore, a major advantage of Xingchen Weibo was the large amount of VIPs that was using it.
Apart from that, there was also its content and Weibo’s role as a self-media platform. Then there was also its speciality as a ‘verbal sparring’ platform. These were all things the current QQ could not provide.
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