Chapter 451: To stack bandages on a wound
Xu Tingsheng invited Old Jin and Old Jinshan to a meal and called Zhang Xingke along as well. He was basically all alone in Yanzhou now as he was also suffering from heartbreak. Nowadays, he could more or less be found at Bright Brilliance every night too.
Xu Tingsheng let them choose the location.
In the end, Old Jin said, “Let’s eat noodles then.”
They had agreed on this back when parting in France. Xu Tingsheng had said that he would host Old Jin and Little Jinshan if the chance arose, and Old Jin had said that he would give him that chance, even if it was just a bowl of noodles.
Therefore, despite their assets all amounting to quite a bit, Old Jin still chose noodles.
“I say, are you really not gonna let anybody invest in that Xingchen Technologies of yours?” Old Jin asked Xu Tingsheng as he added vinegar to his soup.
He had already expressed his desire to invest in Xingchen Technologies many times before, just that Xu Tingsheng had never agreed to it. With his plans for Xingchen Technologies and the foundation it already possessed, he was very reluctant to release Xingchen Technologies’ shares considering their current valuation.
This was already no longer like Hucheng’s founding stages. Xu Tingsheng was able to conceive of much more than he had back then.
It was precisely because of this that Zhang Xingke had previously said that he believed himself to be the only one who had pushed Xu Tingsheng to the brink...in other words, he did not believe that Xu Tingsheng was really cornered in the current battle between Xingchen Technologies and Tencent.
Facing Old Jin’s enquiry, Xu Tingsheng shook his head yet again.
“That crummy company of yours has nearly been run through. And you’re still holding on to it like a treasure? Don’t you need money? Let’s make this clear first. If it’s lending money, that’s totally out of the question. This is such a great chance; I’ve been constantly waiting for you to open the lid to the wok and beg me to invest! Only a fool would lend you money at a time like this!” Old Jin exclaimed dissatisfiedly, but very candidly.
His personality was as Xu Tingsheng had previously judged. While he was usually very easygoing and chivalrous, no one was more invested and focused on every detail than him when it came to money. He would never have reached his present accomplishments, otherwise.
“Makes sense,” Zhang Xingke shot him a thumbs up, his voice rising in pitch as he exclaimed, “Well done! Trap him and wring him dry!”
Zhang Xingke and Old Jin really saw eye to eye with each other due to their commonalities and how they were both always hoping to take advantage and profit off Xu Tingsheng in a righteous, aboveboard manner.
“Like how my Dad does things, seeing money and never seeing people.”
Little Jinshan immediately got a slap upon saying that.
“Don’t I still have some money left from selling you Hucheng’s shares?” Xu Tingsheng smiled, then continued, “Relax, I won’t starve to death. That money alone is enough for me to slowly play attrition with Tencent for a bit.”
“Play attrition for a bit? Just playing attrition? Don’t you want to win?” Old Jin questioned in genuine puzzlement.
“I never once thought of winning from the start. I’ve always known that I can’t possibly win,” Xu Tingsheng confessed breezily.
“What was the point of you doing all this then?” Old Jin continued to ask.
“My intentions are just to forcibly maintain a second largest instant communication software no matter what. I’ll be fine with it even if it’s just a tenth, a fifth of what Tencent has. Weixin simply has to survive. I want to plant my flag in the ground, take a hammer and nail it in. In the future, there’ll be me in this domain, the number two...anything will be possible then…” Xu Tingsheng explained.
These were indeed his current thoughts. He would work on breaking Tencent’s monopoly as his primary goal. Even if he would only possess a smaller piece of the pie in the domain, he would at least make sure to enter it as a ‘number two’. He did not mind waiting, biding his time as he slowly developed and waited for an opportunity.
Even if they had ultimately failed to usurp Tencent’s position in a few years, when Jack Ma really felt greatly troubled by their position in the domain of instant communication yet just couldn’t do anything about it, that would be when the position of Weixin, number two, was sold off to them. Xu Tingsheng would happily accept this and Xingchen would definitely be better off as a result.
As for Jack Ma’s own ‘Laiwang’ chat app that Alibaba had later launched...he should really just forget about it.
“Look at Xingchen now. Hasn’t Weibo’s position basically been secured? I’ve heard that people are already being drawn out from operations at Tencent’s Weibo. In that case, my foundation is basically sound.”
Xu Tingsheng continued explaining, “As for Weixin, while we are indeed being chased and beat, it would be impossible for Tencent to just keep on doing so too. There’s no way for them to keep on ignoring the voices on the internet forever. Also, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology isn’t just for show. I’ve already started a lawsuit against them for malignant competitive practices.”
“The problem is whether you can hold up till then. It’s not like you don’t know how slow those bureaucratic procedures are,” Zhang Xingke figuratively poured cold water on Xu Tingsheng.
“I am holding up, and holding up okay too. We can definitely make it,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
Xingchen was indeed holding up okay. While Weixin was equivalent to a boxer covering his head with his fists and just receiving blow after blow in its fight with QQ with counterattacks being virtually non-existent, this did not mean that they had given up.
In the words of Xingchen’s employees, this method of fighting was akin to stacking bandages on a wound. So, I may not be able to beat you, but I can still hound you good and piss you off like crazy, yeah?
The existence and popularity of Happy Farm guaranteed that Weixin’s user base would rise continually, at least, though many would just log on to Weixin momentarily every day. They would redeem those few bags of free fertilisers before turning on QQ in its place.
As a result, Weixin could still ‘barely sustain its shallow, gasping breaths’.
As for Three Kingdoms Kill, it had also already gone online. With Weibo as a foundation, Xu Tingsheng had established a battle platform along with victory rate, accumulated points and corresponding levels, ranging from bronze, silver and gold...to diamond, master…
There was also an overall ranking system that could be checked at any time. Players could even choose to display their level as well as ranking on their main Weibo page and by their Weixin profile image, showing off their skill.
How important was showing off, exactly?
Xu Tingsheng remembered that during the era of LOL in his previous life, he had once had a classmate who was at the strongest tier, Master. That person would virtually be mentioned by his classmates every other day. From time to time, he would be also called upon to help wreak vengeance on their unsuspecting foes in their place.
It had cost Xu Tingsheng a bomb to build the platform and the relevant systems. Still, the costs were well worth it, because Xingchen Technologies had installed a very disheartening system on Three Kingdoms Kill. The battle accounts were tied to Weixin, and as long as one turned Weixin off or it went offline, they would be automatically disconnected from the game in an effective defeat.
Three Kingdoms Kill was not Happy Farm which could be settled in a matter of minutes. This game was rather more addictive as it was even possible to play it for a couple of hours. Hence, the gamers would have no choice but to remain on Weixin and not turn on QQ.
With that, most of the rooms on Three Kingdoms Kill’s battle platform were thusly named: Those without QQ on, enter.
Although this game presently did not encompass a wide percentage of the population, Weixin was already seeing an increase in the total number of users simultaneously online. Its current record was a million simultaneous users online, this being more or less 5 percent of what QQ had.
As for QQ, it was finally beginning to know what hurt felt like.
Xingchen’s morale was recovering. The overall mood on the Internet was gradually shifting in favour of Weixin. Additionally, more and more people began to realise that it actually seemed like Weixin would truly be able to tide through this…
Old Jin was quite despondent at not having a chance to invest in Xingchen as he asked Xu Tingsheng with a bunch of noodles still in his mouth, “Well, you’ve got to find me something good to invest in, right? I helped you by investing in Hucheng. You can’t demolish the bridge after crossing the river!”
Xu Tingsheng thought: How excited you were when I asked you to invest in Hucheng...really, your face means nothing to you, right.
“Uncle Xu, think about it. If you don’t help, and in the off chance that Old Jin wildly goes off speculating himself and loses the entire family fortune, without my inheritance...what am I supposed to do in the future? How would I be able to provide for my super harem?” Little Jinshan drank a mouthful of soup and asked earnestly.
Old Jin slapped his son into his soup, “Inheritance? Whaddya mean inheritance? It’s good people who don’t live long. Your Dad’s a calamity. Calamities live on a thousand years, you know? You little no conscience bastard son…”
“You fool! I was placing Uncle Xu in check, couldn’t you tell?” Little Jinshan looked up, his face full of soup.
This legendary father and son…
Xu Tingsheng pondered for a time before saying helplessly, “So, two things. One’s ours. As for the other, it’s investing in someone else.”
A full smile immediately blossomed on Old Jin’s face as his eyes radiated light, “Which is good?”
“Both are good. Invest in both. But you can’t have too big a share for either,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“The first is our own. I’m preparing to make a game, not that kind of small game that is affixed to Weibo,” Xu Tingsheng said, “I’m been talking to a game company in Korea recently for the rights of one of their games...we’re nearly done, it’s basically only money that I lack. You interested?”
“What game is that?”
“Find a day and I’ll have a look at it, get my son to go for a few rounds,” Old Jin replied.
Here, Old Jin demonstrated his prudence again on the most critical issue. While he appeared very enthusiastic on the surface, as if he would readily invest in pretty much whatever Xu Tingsheng proposed, he actually still always abided by that most basic principle of a businessman, which was to be ever cautious and vigilant.
“Alright,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Actually, whether Old Jin was willing to invest or not in the end, Xu Tingsheng would persist in securing this game even if he had to go borrowing money everywhere. Crazyracing Kartrider had been ranked amongst the top 3 games in the years 2006 and 2007. If Tencent had not employed the ‘mountain shack’ strategy against it afterwards, this could have gone on for longer.
Internet games were often a great source of income. This was what Xu Tingsheng presently lacked most.
“What about the other one?” Old Jin asked.
Old Jin and Zhang Xingke had blank looks on their faces as Xu Tingsheng said this, having never heard of it before.
While Qihu had already been founded at this time, it had still yet to release 360 Safeguard, be evaluated as one of the top 50 enterprises with the highest investment potential, and receive the joint investment of America’s Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Matrix and IDG.
Therefore, possessing a big promotion platform like Weibo and having the support of Hucheng, Xu Tingsheng was very confident of getting the other party to accept his investment, even though the total share amount would definitely not be so high...Zhou Hongyi was an experienced businessman who was not so easy to deal with.
He had two goals in mind here.
For one, it was naturally to have a piece of the pie in this company which would soon be rising powerfully to prominence as it would even be able to compete with a giant like Baidu in terms of internet traffic in the future.
Secondly, it was to rear a tiger…
By giving it funds and promoting it, Xu Tingsheng hoped that 360’s rise would come even quicker. This was a real tiger. While Xu Tingsheng would definitely not be able to direct Zhou Hongyi’s actions, his personality was such that he would definitely pounce on Tencent when the time came.
Therefore, that battle which had only come in 2010 in his previous life-let it arrive as fast as possible.
Being unable to defeat Tencent, Xu Tingsheng had decided to rear a tiger to help him out...
One must know that after the battle, Mr Ma had personally called it the greatest crisis in Tencent’s history.
Some media analysts believed that even though there had been quite a sizeable gap in scale between them at the time, 360 had actually still been equipped to possibly drag Tencent down to ruination alongside it. This was also why that battle had ultimately ended inconclusively.
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