Inside the office building of Tencent was a busy scene . The occasional employee walking in the hallway didn't have the most optimistic expression . With company performance continuing to slide, employees sensed the risk of upcoming layoffs .
Yes, the lifespan of QQ wasn't the longest these days .
Once Future 1 . 0's messenger function came online, the number of active users on QQ trended negatively . The QQ project lead was so stressed that his hair almost turned completely white, but he was still unable to come up with a solution to reclaim the messaging throne .
What? User stickiness? That's right - when your friends, family, and friends on the internet all use QQ, it might be difficult to change users' messenger tool of choice . But when all your friends, family and friends on the internet already installed Future 1 . 0 and Future 1 . 0 happened to come out with a messenger function, was QQ really irreplaceable?
Especially since Future Technology used a "shady" technique - friend synchronization technology!
WeChat and QQ could synchronize a phone's contact list, and Future 1 . 0's overpowering function could synchronize WeChat and QQ friend lists . So any user with Future 1 . 0, QQ, and WeChat installed, Future 1 . 0 would be able to sync all a user's friends with the click of a button and separate the friends based on the filter .
This move made the project lead of QQ curse Future 1 . 0's mother, but he couldn't do anything about it . Future Technology hadn't violated any laws - it synced friend lists with the user's permission and didn't pose any threat to QQ's functionality, nor did it trigger any laws regarding vicious competition .
At least for messaging software on mobile platforms, Future Technology already snatched more than half of all users . It was fortunate that QQ was still competitive because of its PC platform, but WeChat, which normally always had a stunning performance, suffered greatly .
The foundation that formed the skyscraper of Penguin Empire was QQ - all other products were based on this foundation .
And now, Future 1 . 0 was attacking the foundation itself .
"Boss, Future Technology has made a new move . " An assistant with square glasses walked in and slid a document gently in front of Ma Huateng .
He sat in front of his table with gloom all over his face . His eyes didn't leave the laptop screen at all .
It was an article reposted by News Net .
<Virtual Reality Masterpiece, Godly Land, has officially begun its internal testing . Future Technology welcomed 2000 players around the world to board a luxury cruise . >
Future Technology had been promoting virtual reality technology lately . Ma Huateng was skeptical if they could make their money back with the massive campaign they launched .
He had some understanding of virtual reality technology . While the country had made some technology in the field domestically, compared to Google and Microsoft, there was still a sizeable disparity .
[Virtual reality MMORPG overseas is still in its infancy, yet you wanted to get ahead of the game - what's the point? Once they eat the meat, they will just take the leftovers and fry it, and it will still be delicious . What's the need for innovation? In a 1 . 3 billion market, copyright is nonexistent . ]
[Foolish, how foolish . ]
Ma Huateng shook his head .
If virtual reality MMORPG in internal testing was really as magical as they made it sound, it would be an unprecedented shockwave to the traditional MMORPGs on PC and mobile platforms .
What made it difficult was that the testing location of Godly Land was in Pannu Islands; there was no media coverage and no leaked photos . Penguin possessed only minimal information .
Was it the traditional sensory VR equipment or the rumored immersive virtual reality technology? There was great debate about this on the internet . Some people claiming to be internal testers said it was, in fact, the traditional equipment . But other internal testers stated that Future Technology had developed the legendary immersive technology .
Because there were no leaked photos, the Godly Land seemed mysterious .
"Boss?" the assistant spoke out .
"Is there any renowned virtual reality company domestically?" Ma Huateng let out a sigh .
"Wanghai Lexiang Technology Company . They just introduced the Deepoon virtual reality equipment which uses Samsung AMOLED 1080 high definition screen with 75Hz rate and 120-degree wide angle screen . It performed superbly during the CES exhibition . "
"Send people to discuss the acquisition," Ma Huateng ordered .
"Yes . " The assistant nodded and left with quick steps .
It shouldn't be difficult to acquire the company - the virtual reality industry was never hot domestically, and the mild state meant there was a lack of capital in pursuit . If someone was willing to pay for their creativity, they were probably more willing to exchange their technology for cash .
Ma Huateng stood up and walked to the giant window .
He glanced down at Shen's streets as well as his reflection in the window . His eyes narrowed .
[Okay, since Future Technology has entered the virtual reality era, let me play with you then!]
The so-called Icarus paradox referred to an enterprise with a monopoly in the market and a fear of change; the company would be reluctant to conduct management, technology, and business model updates . This would make it difficult to adapt to the ever-changing environment and the company would lose its advantage with the arrival of new competition .
What was the Icarus effect? It referred to an enterprise already with a monopoly in the market using all its resources to prevent change from occurring . Examples could be seen by energy giants divesting from new energy resources or hostile takeovers of new energy companies .
But because of Future Technology's unbreakable share structure and excellent operating conditions, it gave the tech giants no vulnerabilities to target .
At the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle:
The chief executive officer, Satia Nadra, sat in front of his desk while staring at his coffee . He zoned out while listening to his assistant's report .
"… HoloLens' sales in July increased by 27% . "
When he heard this, he recollected his thoughts .
HoloLens was virtual reality equipment based on the Windows 10 design by Microsoft . It received a positive market reaction since it was introduced to the market in 2016, but the significant fluctuation in sales was a rare sight .
"… Till the market closed, Nasdaq's virtual reality sector all ended in the green . Due to virtual reality division, our company's stock also rose by 3% . "
A 3% rise for a mega-corporation like Microsoft was substantial .
Satia closed his eyes .
"Establish a subsidiary to operate the HoleLens project and immediately release the announcement for HoloLens2 . "
The assistant's eyes widened and he stared at Satia in disbelief .
"But HoloLens was just introduced… Could it be-"
Satia glanced at his assistant without saying a word .
He knew what the assistant wanted to say . Establish a shell, make an announcement, create a subsidiary first then an IPO and find the next buyer .
But virtual reality had a bright future, so why would he do that?
"The board won't agree," the assistant carefully cautioned him .
"Don't overthink . I'm preparing just in case . " Satia stood up . "I'll go explain to the board . I have to also ask Gate's opinion . "
Then Satia left the office and the shocked assistant .
With the document in his hand, the assistant stood still for a long time .
He didn't understand - with Microsoft's power, why would they need to prepare just in case?
In the office building of 361 Corporation:
"Godly Land? Virtual reality MMORPG? Interesting . "
Zhou Hongwei scanned the webpage on the screen, feeling intrigued .
"Boss you don't seem to be worried?" Zhang Jiefeng, beside his desk, said with a wry smile .
"What's there to worry about?" Zhou Hongwei glared at him and sank into his chair . "Is this something to be worried about? Future's about to update to Future 2 . 0, yet there's nothing from the team assigned to crack the software . What a bunch of useless tools . "
Zhou Hongwei felt angry when he thought about it .
Although 361 and Future Technology had project partnerships, Zhou Hongwei never stopped the process to crack Future 1 . 0 .
But just some time ago, he ultimately gave up on the cracking of Future 1 . 0 and dissolved the project team . He knew he wasn't the only company that made that choice . Future 1 . 0 encryption was as hard as a turtle's shell and left him nowhere to take a bite .
He remembered that at the beginning of the year, he went to his friend at the Bureau of Patents, wishing to obtain some information from Future Technology's patent . But his old friend helplessly stated that the people from the Bureau of Patents spent countless time to convince Future Technology to submit specific technicalities and the benefits of patents, but Future Technology's CEO was firm .
No need .
It certainly looked down on the countless programmers who spent their time cracking Future 1 . 0 .
But then, Future Technology threw out a smokescreen on virtual reality . Zhou Hongwei couldn't help but a curse: [can't you fu*king slow down on releasing the technology? We haven't even cracked the first one and now you throw out another one . With steps so big, aren't you afraid of pulling your balls?]
"Boss?" Zhang Jianfeng looked at the color changing on the boss's face as he questioned .
Zhou Hongwei took a deep breath and snapped back to the present .
"I want to hear your thoughts . "
Zhang Jianfeng nodded . He was clearly prepared as he immediately began to explain .
"There are two routes in front of us - one is to purchase virtual reality technology companies and see if we can cut a slice of the pie from the virtual reality hype created by Future Technology . Two is to give up on this opportunity since there's still plenty of room for growth in the PC and mobile market . If everyone decides to pursue virtual reality, that's the perfect opportunity for us to expand our market share in PC and mobile devices . "
Zhou Hongwei closed his eyes and thought for a long time .
After a while, he sighed .
"I prefer the second choice . "
Zhang Jiefeng felt relived too .
"I also think so too . "
Future Technology's massive advertisement campaign was meant to hype up the virtual reality MMORPG and see if they could stretch their balls, but if 361 followed the same massive steps, they would definitely stretch their balls .
It was better to play it safe .
Even if virtual reality was as magical as it was advertised to be, it could not replace the phone . Compared to the BAT giants (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), 361 had quite a discrepancy in terms of resources . Even if Zhou Hongwei wanted to compete with them, their chance of winning was not high . Cash was one thing, technology was another, and 361 had no advantage in either .
What they should do now was to not follow blindly but instead, use this opportunity and consolidate the mobile market while all the capital flooded to virtual reality . 361 search was already shaking the market penetration of Baidu search . If they spent more effort on it and let the big thugs battle with Future Technology, they would definitely win on this battlefield .
Due to Lingyu Technology's incident, 361 and Future Technology were still in a honeymoon phase .
Zhou Hongwei let out a sigh .
To be honest, he wasn't willing to make this choice, but he had no other options .
What he didn't know was, just after a few months, he would feel glad about the decision he made .