Xia Lei sold all the rights for the intelligent lathe he had brought back from Germany for 200,000,000 plus the previous 88,000,000. He would not build or give to anyone any drawings or related machine information from then on. However, he had not just simply stolen Josef’s design plans in Germany - he had ‘seen’ many things in his time there and also learnt quite a bit. All these could not be bought.
Though China Industrial Group had bought all rights to Josef’s intelligent lathe, they could not buy the information in Xia Lei’s head. He could create the most suitable and most advanced lathe for Thunder Horse Manufacturing in a year and a half. This was why he had agreed quickly when Mu Jian-Feng gave the offer to buy.
The transaction was done on the day itself and China Industrial Group paid 200,000,000 in cash to Xia Lei, tax free. Additionally, China Industrial Group would provide Thunder Horse Manufacturing with 20 different machines; lathes, drilling machine, milling machines and so on, all of the most advanced range available in China. They would also build a larger integrated workshop for Thunder Horse Manufacturing. The total cost of all of these was about 5,000,000. It did not seem all that much but the equipment provided by China Industrial Group would be installed and set up by their own employees - something very much appreciated by the short-staffed Thunder Horse Manufacturing employees.
In the afternoon of that day, the intelligent lathe was transported away on a large truck by China Industrial Group. Xia Lei’s personal workshop had been torn open to allow the lathe to be taken out of it as the doorway was too small. The machine was covered by thick tarpaulin covers when they were transporting it away and it looked fairly mysterious.
Mu Jian-Feng and his group left with the big truck and even rejected Xia Lei’s invitation to dinner.
After sending Mu Jian-Feng and his group off, Xia Lei made an announcement. All the employees of Thunder Horse Manufacturing were getting a bonus of 10,000. The Workshop Directors Zhou Xiao-Hong, Yang Ben-Cai and Liu Xue-Bing got 30,000. Staff of the R&D department got 10,000 while Han Bo and Yin Hao got 30,000. Guan Ling-Shan from the financial department also got 30,000 while the staff got 10,000, as did the staff of the sales department.
Over a million was spent on this bonus. Thunder Horse Manufacturing had made only 2,000,000 during this period of time so it was like all the profit had gone back to the employees. The insurances of the workers had to be paid too, meaning Thunder Horse Manufacturing had not actually made any profit at all.
Right after Xia Lei made the announcement, Liang Si-Yao pulled him aside and whispered in his ear, “Why are you giving the employees such large bonuses? This isn’t even the end of the year - you’ve distributed all the money we’ve made so far. The end of the year is approaching so we must give them those year-end bonuses. It won’t be less than what you’re giving out now, right? The company hasn’t even made that much money yet!”
Liang Si-Yao was like a housekeeper and her capabilities in this aspect were growing.
Xia Lei laughed. “The company didn’t make that much money but I did. What’s the harm in giving the employees some when I have so much?”
Liang Si-Yao rolled her eyes at him. “Even so, you can’t just spend it like that.”
Xia Lei spoke quietly, “I actually have my own ideas. The company is growing and the manufacturing standards and output will be upgraded. We need more manpower. I give them bonuses so people know the employees are treated well and talent will be attracted to us. Don’t you always tell me that talent is the most important thing in the 21st century? As long as we gather talented people we won’t have to worry about our company’s growth.”
“But no one knows except ourselves! What, are you going to make a television advertisement to tell others how much you gave out in bonuses today?” Liang Si-Yao could not dispel her misgivings - it was over a million yuan! Furthermore, the end of the year was approaching and they’d have to spend a lot on the bonus then too. Her heart ached at the loss.
“I have a better method than advertisements,” said Xia Lei.
“What method?” Liang Si-Yao looked curiously at Xia Lei.
“You’ll see.” Xia Lei walked to the front of the gathered employees and said loudly, “The company is expanding. You are recent graduates from universities and technical schools - go back and contact your classmates. Our doors are open for those willing to come to us.”
“Chairman Xia, many of my Brothers have gone to work in other companies. If they want to come here, can they get the insurance they bought there transferred?” asked a technical school graduate employee.
“If they come to us, we will cover their insurances and buy ones of the same standard as you have with us. The social security accounts are now unified across China so the procedures are simple.”
“Heh heh, I’ll contact them when I go back. They are quite skilled but the other companies don’t pay them as well; they earn much less than I do.” The employee seemed quite smug.
Another technical university graduate spoke up, “Chairman Xia, I have some classmates who haven’t found jobs yet because they have high requirements. Will you take them too?”
“Tell them that young people should not be too proud to take a low post when they are not good enough for a high one. I shall reward them appropriately if they truly have the skills but as newcomers they shall be treated the same as everyone else.”
“Yep! They’ll surely agree.” The technical university graduate smiled and said, “Who wouldn’t want to follow Chairman Xia when he is such a good boss? They’ll surely come when I tell them about you!”
Xia Lei chatted and laughed with the employees. The recruitment problem was solved.
Liang Si-Yao was scolding Xia Lei for not watching his spending earlier but she smiled now and secretly admired his recruitment strategy. These young workers had classmates and were knowledgeable and skilled. If they go contact their friends and those friends knew of the benefits at Thunder Horse Manufacturing, would they still not come?
“Okay, so that’s it.” Xia Lei concluded. “Go contact your classmates. I’ll also state that you will get a reward of 1,000 if you recommend someone and that person signs the contact with our company.”
There was a buzz as they employees from technical schools and universities pulled out their mobile phones and started calling their old classmates, afraid that someone else would get to them first.
Liang Si-Yao quietly gave Xia Lei a punch. “I’ve really underestimated you. How do you have so many good ideas in that head of yours?”
Xia Lei grinned. “Let’s go. I’ve never made so much money in my life. Let’s find a good restaurant and have a good meal to celebrate, yeah?”
“Sure.” Liang Si-Yao agreed without a second thought.
“Oh, let’s call Master to come too,” said Xia Lei.
Liang Si-Yao pursed her petite lips. She did not say anything but she was dissatisfied and thought, ‘This blockhead! Why is he taking Dad? Doesn’t he know what a “two-person world” is?’
At that moment, a male voice suddenly came from the entrance of his factory. “Xia Lei.”
Xia Lei turned and saw Hu Hou. He had come alone and his car was parked by the entrance.
Xia Lei went to him in welcome and smiled as he said, “Mayor Hu, welcome, welcome. Come up to my office for a chat.”
“I won’t be going up to the office. I came to ask you about something,” said Hu Hou.
“What is it, Mayor Hu?”
“You don’t have anything going on here right now?”
“I just had a meeting with my employees. I don’t have anything on now.”
Hu Hou smiled. “Looks like I came at the right time. Okay, please come with me. We’ll talk on the way there.”
“What is this about, Mayor Hu?” asked Xia Lei probingly.
“Something good, of course. How can it be bad? Let’s go, let’s go.” Hu Hou pulled Xia Lei along with him.
Xia Lei looked back at Liang Si-Yao helplessly.
“Go, go.” Liang Si-Yao was understanding.
Xia Lei got into Hu Hou’s Buick and he drove towards the city government building.
He’d said that he would tell Xia Lei on the way there but he kept his mouth closed, even after two kilometres and had not said anything. Xia Lei could not hold himself back any longer and asked tentatively, “Mayor Hu, didn’t you say you’d tell me on the way? Please tell me what’s going on. This is nerve-wrecking.”
Hu Hou spoke only then. “It’s like this - the economic environment is not good right now and is in recession, especially the manufacturing industry. The situation is worrying. The Hai-Zhu government is preparing to host a ‘Revitalizing the Economy’ banquet. The people participating are all the CEOs of various companies in Hai-Zhu City. You are one of our important guests.”
Xia Lei looked at Hu Hou and suddenly laughed. “Your secretary must have forgot to put my name in the invitation list, huh? You found out and came to get me.”
A banquet like this with guests who were CEOs must have had invitations sent out even earlier than the day before. However, Hu Hou had come to him in a hurry to get him at a time very close to the banquet - if this wasn’t because someone had forgot, then what?
Hu Hou smiled wryly and shook his head. “You can tell with just one look? You’re no simple man, are you? You’re right. I did not see your name when I was doing a final check of the name-tags on the tables. I only knew you’d been left out when I checked the name-list. I’d told my secretary but he still forgot you. I reprimanded him rather badly over this.”
Xia Lei smiled and said, “It’s all right, Mayor Hu. I’m chuffed that you’ve personally come to get me, haha.”
“I feel better if you think that way.” Hu Hou kept driving and was silent for a bit before he spoke again, “One more thing. I want your view on something.”
“Feel free to speak, Mayor Hu.” Xia Lei had always had a good impression of Hu Hou and he didn’t feel ill at ease when with a mayor like him.
“Do you want your company listed?” said Hu Hou suddenly.
“Listed?” Xia Lei paused. “I haven’t thought of it. The company is small and still just taking off - how can it qualify to be listed?”
“The scale of your business is no problem. Its profitability is also fine. It won’t be a problem to get you listed on the Growth Enterprises Market Board. I can help you if you want to get listed,” said Hu Hou.
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “This is no small matter. I’ll have to consider it carefully before I give you a reply.”
“Of course. I will not push you. Give me a reply when you’ve thought it over,” said Hu Hou.
Xia Lei nodded but worried to himself in his head, ‘What the heck, why does he want me to get listed? Companies get listed for one goal and that is financing; using the money of investors to develop the company. I don’t lack money so I’m not going to get unnecessary investors. If rival companies attack my stocks I’ll end up with a whole load of trouble even before I reap any benefits.”
He’d said that he needed time to think about it but Xia Lei had more or less decided in the two minutes after he shut his mouth - Why get listed when he had no lack of funds?
There were more than enough examples of profitable companies which do not get listed in China. The most well-known was Huawei, followed by Old Godmother and so on. There was no comparing Thunder Horse Manufacturing to these giants but there really was no need at all to get listed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter