Chapter 525: An unexpected person
While Xu Tingsheng’s English proficiency was not bad, he definitely did not possess the talents and capabilities for talks of this level. Thus, he had brought along a team led by Hu Chen.
When Hu Chen had heard about the exchange of shares Xu Tingsheng had carried out with Tianyi when in Hucheng, he had laughed and said that this was the queerest and most childish business exchange he had heard of. Because of that, he was even less able to rest his mind at ease with Xu Tingsheng.
In truth, even Hu Chen still believed that for a company to successfully complete the acquisition of shares overseas, they would have no choice but to seek the help of those Wall Street banks most of the time.
“We can talk about it again after,” This was what Hu Chen had said when boarding the plane.
In China’s internet industry, Hu Chen was known as the scholarly general. As Xu Tingsheng saw it, this probably referred to someone who was polite, genial and with the look of a scholar yet was also a ‘mass murderer’ who could cause people to perish comfortably and refreshedly.
On the battlefield, physical or otherwise, those whose reputations were known far and wide as they achieved one great merit after another-how could there truly be a warm, scholarly general amongst them?
In truth, it was only that some of them seemed a little less savage. It was actually still the same, though. Coldly disregarding the millions of bare bones, fully ready to strike like a viper no holds barred as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
Those who were truly kindly and respectful would long since have been reduced to bare bones themselves.
Before heading off to America, Hu Chen had already whipped up several negotiation proposals, each containing layer of layer that left Xu Tingsheng shaking his head in wonder.
They had already contacted the plastic surgery clinic to make an appointment before coming to America. Looking a little chubbier than before, the chubby nurse looked quite visibly excited to see Xu Tingsheng as she enthusiastically gave him a hug like they were old friends reuniting.
The two asked after each other and chatted for a while. Despite learning that Xu Tingsheng had not come this time to undergo a second procedure, she still insisted on him removing his clothing as she helped him to conduct a proper check on the condition of his scars.
Fu Cheng watched on bemused, joking that Xu Tingsheng should have two more titles added to his already substantial repertoire: ‘Emotional bonds everywhere, Xu Tingsheng’ and ‘Never fear loneliness, Xu Tingsheng’.
Xu Tingsheng bore such teasing as he accompanied Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng at the clinic for three days. It was resting for the first day, some relevant checkups on the second and the actual surgical procedures on the third.
For a private clinic like this which was virtually able to change one’s whole face and type, dealing with stuff like Fang Yunyao’s scars was but a minor surgery requiring little effort.
While the entire surgery still took a bit of time, it went extremely smoothly and successfully.
Leaving behind an interpreter and Fu Cheng to take care of the recuperating Fang Yunyao who was still under post-surgery observation, Xu Tingsheng got Hu Chen to contact Facebook, informing them that they had already arrived in America as negotiations could commence.
As he was not the host this time, Xu Tingsheng had to wait for the other side to make the arrangements.
On their first day waiting in the hotel, Hu Chen held a mock negotiation just so that Xu Tingsheng would not randomly butt into the negotiation and make a mess out of things.
Hu Chen did not really agree with this cooperation in the first place, even having fiercely opposed it at one point. Still, when Xu Tingsheng had insisted and the decision was set in stone, he was able to immediately put aside his disagreements, becoming the most thorough, decisive strategist.
It was really the fortune of the rookie genius Xu Tingsheng that he possessed the likes of Hu Chen and He Yutan.
For this entire day, there came nothing whatsoever from Facebook’s side.
It was only the next afternoon when Xu Tingsheng and Hu Chen finally got to see someone representing Facebook. Still, it was not Mark Zuckerberg or even Peter Thiel or Breyer who visited them. Instead, only an assistant-level personnel had come from Facebook.
This assistant only came with one piece of news too.
“I’m very sorry, but after careful consideration, Facebook has decided to cancel negotiations along with the entire cooperation.”
Xu Tingsheng felt a sudden impulse to rush over and sock him good.
He had heard quite a bit about Zuckerburg’s arrogant and deviant attitude during his initial rise to power in his previous life. For example, he had once told a representative from Yahoo at the very start of their negotiation: You people only have ten minutes. The discussion ends when the ten minutes are up…
And when he had said this, Facebook’s might had actually still been less than that of Yahoo’s little finger.
Xu Tingsheng had actually already been mentally prepared to meet an arrogant, unbridled genius. He had not thought, however, that he would not even get even one single minute, especially when the other side was hungrily eyeing their IP.
And the dude left, leaving the entire room feeling naught but bewilderment.
Why had Facebook had such a sudden change in attitude? They had even given up directly without even communicating about it first. Not only did Xu Tingsheng not get it, the more experienced Hu Chen did not too. This was just not in accordance to logical reasoning.
After the bewilderment came fury.
“Do you have that Zuckerburg’s number?” Xu Tingsheng asked Hu Chen.
“I do,” Hu Chen said but did not immediately relay it to Xu Tingsheng as he instead looked at him a bit puzzledly, “Still, Boss Xu, I hope that you can understand that if we take the initiative and request to continue the negotiation when the other side has already rejected it...that would entail us losing virtually all our footing and chips.”
Virtually everyone here agreed with Hu Chen’s words. Be it out of fury or practical considerations, no one wanted to proceed with the cooperation this time.
Xu Tingsheng raised a hand to stop the several pairs of eyes looking dolefully at him as he explained, “No, not to continue with the cooperation. I’d just like to say something to Zuckerberg...ask after him, your mother, are you wrong in the head or something?!”
They all laughed, following which Xu Tingsheng said with a great sweep of his hand, “Fine, everyone just think of this as me inviting you to a holiday in America. It’s fine. Off to play with you lot. Those who like to buy stuff can go buy them, those who want to go shopping, to bars or wherever, feel free...just don’t get into any trouble, and remember to stay contactable.”
There were foreign students on their team. After they had led the squad off, only Hu Chen and Xu Tingsheng remained in the living room of the suite.
Only at this moment did Xu Tingsheng ask, “Someone obstructed our plan this time?”
Hu Chen pondered for a moment before nodding, “Probably. I can see no other possibility.”
“But there are very few who know about our negotiation this time.”
“Someone from our own team leaked the news.”
“We can basically exclude those three youngsters who have been in Xingchen ever since they graduated. Amongst the remainder, this guy is whoever has the most haphazard ties with both the internet industry and America at the same time.”
“Isn’t that you then?!”
“...Tingsheng, no, Boss Xu, can we not joke for the time being?”
“Just lightening up the mood,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Then, shall we do nothing to this person for the time being?”
Hu Chen nodded, “Right. There is a clear target right now, at least. This is more beneficial to use than if the other party bribes someone who is harder to discover later on. Also, looking at this ‘spy’ from another angle, he is actually also our only visible clue to tracing that perpetrator.”
“True,” Xu Tingsheng thought about it, “In that case, do you have any idea on who exactly wanted to obstruct Xingchen?”
“I’m currently looking for someone for help regarding this.”
“In the internet industry and finance for both America and China, this person truly...has connections that could not be more all over the place.”
The person that Hu Chen spoke of was called Wayne Yang. He was Hu Chen’s university classmate from when he had studied abroad at Stanford. Half Chinese and half American, Wayne was an active fellow who had taken care of many Chinese students on their arrival, enthusiastically, though he had certainly swindled quite a bit of money from them too.
Hu Chen had formed a friendship with him even in the midst of being swindled and retalitative swindling. Still, he had quit university in his second year.
Having quit university, Wayne Yang had not followed in the footsteps of predecessors like Bill Gates by achieving immense success in the path of entrepreneurship and being a role model like figure afterwards...it was another kind of life he had chosen-the extreme of being chummy with everyone.
His capabilities in this aspect were really too high.
It was to the extent that many rich and famous who usually had good images would temporarily lose their composure when mentioning him, instinctively retorting: Wayne? Shit, that xx bastard.
Still, however they might curse at him, this same bastard was still the first person they would think of whenever a problem arose. This was despite the fact that they knew they would be subsequently taken advantage of as soon as they approached him.
This bastard’s network of connections was simply too massive and complex. He could virtually get involved in anything, provide reliable intel concerning any one matter.
This was his rice bowl, the source of all his mansions, branded watches, race cars and beautiful women.
It was actually not easy to achieve such a thing. Not anyone could do this, just as not anyone would have had insight enough to spend virtually all their time chumming about Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Shenzhen and Bengaluru etcetera since several years back...
He was able to sit in a small restaurant and enjoy the cheapest food and drink along with entrepreneurs from various countries who were only just starting out, merrily discussing their dreams as he granted them heartfelt advice and aid that actually required no investment. At the same time, he was also able to shamelessly appear frequently at various high-class parties and forums, coolly holding a glass of red wine as he mingled with various tycoons, CEOs and ladies.
And so, when an Indian company wanted to seek tech support from Silicon Valley, it was Wayne Yang they would first look for.
When a Wall Street bank wished to grasp the investment outlook for China’s internet industry, it was Wayne Yang they would look for.
When a young entrepreneur received word from a big company that they wished to acquire their company, it was Wayne Yang’s advice they would seek.
If some major figure from Wall Street wanted to know if their wife, a young model, was sleeping with someone...it was still none other than Wayne Yang he would look for.
More than an hour later, Xu Tingsheng met this well renowned Wayne Young whose distasteful reputation preceded him.
This was a ridiculously handsome fellow. Xu Tingsheng felt that those tycoons from Wall Street who approached him to find out who their wives had affairs with…just had to be absolute idiots.
After enthusiastically embracing Hu Chen and exchanging greetings with Xu Tingsheng, Wayne sat down and said, “Five hundred thousand grand.”
“One hundred thousand,” Hu Chen said.
“Four hundred thousand, on account of us being classmates.”
“Two hundred thousand, on account of us being classmates.”
Seeing the two bargaining with each other seriously, Xu Tingsheng interrupted, “Does it have to be like this between you old classmates? Money hurts relationships.”
The two simultaneously turned to look at Xu Tingsheng, retorting, “It’s your money we’re talking about.”
Finally, Wayne Young used three minutes and one piece of information to take away Xu Tingsheng’s two hundred and fifty thousand USD.
“Just two days ago, a large investment consortium approached Facebook and discussed an investment and cooperation with them. Whether in terms of capital or technology and resources, this consortium’s power is still far beyond yours right now…”
“They don’t necessarily have to be averse to me, right?”
“Of course they have to. They weren’t coming for Facebook in the first place. It’s you they were targeting...from what I understand, there was a clause in this consortium’s contract with Facebook which prevents them from cooperating with merely one sole party alone…”
“Yes, but also no. To be exact, they are averse to...you. Everything related to Xu Tingsheng is the sole target in this contract’s exclusion clause.”
Xu Tingsheng was bewildered, “No, exactly who have I offended?”
Wayne Young smiled, “I’m not so clear about that. The final clue is that my informant heard someone addressing that investor as Mister Kasai in private. Or there could be another too, Mister Cen…”
Xu Tingsheng sat there dazedly for a time, murmuring woodenly to himself, “Apple, it’s your Dad?!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter