Chapter 335 - Disarray
Shi Lei pondered for a while. He felt like he needed some professional advice.
Hence, Shi Lei told Zhen Xu, “Don’t be so panicked. Hasn’t their app only been available for a day or so? With your ability, can you reverse engineer and get ahold of their source code?”
Zhen Xu froze for a second. “You want me to prove that they are plagiarizing us? But even if we file a lawsuit against them, we won’t get a result until a few years later and our company would also be done for.”
“This is only one aspect. Calm down. Even if you are panicking, don’t try to force everything into these two days. Whether a product can survive in the market also depends on the existence of similar products. How can you advance without competition? No matter if it’s creating or operating the business, you are the professional one and I’m merely an investor. You have other investors besides me and I need to discuss this with them. Well, if I can find a suitable way to solve the problem, then I’ll contact you. If I can’t, I’ll still let you know as soon as possible. You need to wait patiently and continue your work as planned, okay?”
Zhen Xu was dejected. He had indeed thought of that before. Shi Lei and Zhang Meimei’s investment amount wasn’t very large, and when the company encountered this kind of situation, it was normal for them to drag on until the second installment. After all, with the current situation, his company may fall apart before they even reached that point.
But Zhen Xu could no longer make more requirements. “Alright,” he said slowly. “Sorry to bother you. Please give me a detailed reply as soon as possible.”
After Shi Lei hung up, Song Miaomiao gave him a side glance and asked, “Something wrong with the investment?”
Shi Lei nodded. “A similar app suddenly popped up, and they’re very aggressive. Their app is too similar to ours, so we can’t help but think that it’s intentional.”
“Oh, what kind of app? From what I heard, it sounds like a mobile one.”
Shi Lei briefly explained the product to Song Miaomiao. “That’s easy,” she said. “I’ll get someone to cut off their server first.”
“What’s that gonna do? Are you going to use your family’s power to force them to take it off the market? You can’t just keep disconnecting their server for no reason. Let me ask the other investor first.”
Shi Lei waved his hand and walked to the window, dialing Zhang Meimei’s number. Zhang Meimei was surprised, since she had just talked to him.
“Hello, Teacher Shi. Is there anything else that’s unclear?”
“Lawyer Zhang, the company we invested in has encountered some problems.” Shi Lei informed her about the problems as briefly as possible and waited for her reaction.
Zhang Meimei replied with “oh” and paused for a while, probably trying to organize her thoughts.
“Zhen Xu isn’t wrong. Even if we can prove that they are indeed plagiarizing, it would take at least a year, from filing a lawsuit to negotiating and then to a hearing. As for this kind of intellectual property, it usually takes up to three or four years but is usually fruitless. The fastest time for the procedure to finish is within fifteen months, but it’s almost impossible. Even if the court judges that the other party must take their product off the market after fifteen months, our company would have probably already fallen financially. The other party’s compensation may only be a mere 100,000 yuan, or even less. It’s not like he can’t go through legal procedures for this kind of thing, but it’s usually because he will give and get nothing in return. Of course, if he can prove that the other’s product is plagiarizing ours, then we can go through the necessary legal procedures. At least we wouldn’t lose legally. As for how the company operates, I’m not sure about it because it’s new. The loss of a product can determine the loss of the company, so I can’t give an opinion on that.”
Shi Lei sighed. “In other words, the law cannot judge this kind of person at the moment.”
Zhang Meimei laughed. “Not exactly, but you just need to go through the procedure. That’s as much as a federal agency can do.”
After a short pause, Zhang Meimei continued. “Oh, if you need me to transfer the rest of the investment, ask me anytime. Since we already invested, there’s no reason to give up halfway through. Teacher Shi, what you said isn’t wrong. Any product can encounter all sorts of risks in the market. When there is competition between the same kind of products, or someone plagiarizing our product and putting it on the market by changing just the appearance, bad money drives out the good, which is also a form of competition. If Zhen Xu can’t face this kind of competition, then even if we don’t lose much this time, we will in the future. So my advice is to observe first and let Zhen Xu gain experience and mature from this. He should focus more on creating new promotion methods and improving the functions of the app itself, thereby letting the consumers pick the product with the better user experience.”
Shi Lei listened and laughed silently, knowing that he had been too nervous.
According to the graph the Investment Card gave, Zhen Xu’s company would definitely grow significantly. Shi Lei’s investment of 300,000 yuan could at least increase a few hundred times. What happened today was a normal phenomenon in the market, but because Shi Lei and Zhen Xu had never experienced something like it before, Shi Lei panicked a little after seeing Zhen Xu panic.
Of course, they couldn’t let their guards down. He decided that he needed to find a chance to ask the Scepter to at least check whether or not the outline of the evaluation could change during the actual process.
“Okay, thank you so much, Lawyer Zhang. This is my first time investing and Zhen Xu isn’t experienced in operating a business either. We panicked after encountering this. You are right. Zhen Xu should solve this himself.”
Shi Lei hung up after he thanked Zhang Meimei. Song Miaomiao had been staring at him the whole time as if he had some enchanting halo above his head. “How much did you invest?” She asked after he hung up.
“300,000 yuan. Oh, I only gave 100,000 yuan as the first installment.”
Song Miaomiao rolled her eyes and flipped him off. “Only 300,000 yuan? I thought you invested a lot more than that. Let me think…300,000 yuan…mister, I spend more than 300,000 yuan just to style my hair.”
Shi Lei was speechless and raised his middle finger at Song Miaomiao as well. “I don’t care if others say that, but you? With your few strands of hair that’s not even as long as mine, how the hell can you change hairstyles? I’ll see if you can make it a flower if you cut it one strand at a time!”
Song Miaomiao shrugged lazily. “Well, the hair stylist girl looked pretty cute, so I applied for a membership card. I used one year to make her the top stylist in the shop and stopped after accomplishing that.”
“You were born rich and with a golden spoon in your mouth. Poor families like mine earn every single cent ourselves. You can afford to throw 300,000 yuan away, but I can’t.”
“Well, I’m just trying to comfort you, aren’t I? Fine, I admit that I don’t really how to, but you aren’t poor. You are driving a Quattroporte worth over two million anyway.”
“I bought it with a loan!”