Shi Lei took out his phone and dialed a number. As expected, a woman’s voice told him that he had to pay his phone bills.
The reason he could still receive WeChat messages was probably because he was in front of his university. He had eaten at all the restaurants around it, so his phone automatically connected to their wifi networks.
He charged some money online and his phone buzzed so much that it sounded like it was exploding. They were all messages reminding him that he had missed calls.
Shi Lei found it weird. He was a student who hadn’t even graduated from university, yet his phone was as busy as a hotline. He never had a break, with people looking for him every single day. Before, when he still lived in the dorm, his phone wouldn’t even ring once every few days, and the one time it did was a scam.
Almost all the numbers were the same except for three or four of them.
Shi Lei scrolled through them. Zhang Liangliang had called him the most. She had called every three minutes to check whether Shi Lei had topped up or not.
“So you finally found out that your phone was suspended?” Zhang Liangliang immediately picked after the call connected and pouted, “I thought you blocked me.”
“I saw your WeChat message this morning,” Shi Lei replied. “I was drinking with my friends last night and slept early. You were probably taking your exams when I woke up, so I didn’t reply. Are you done with all of your exams today? When do results come out?”
“In three days.”
“Then I’ll treat you in three days and take you out to play. Of course, that is under the assumption that your grades can’t be worse than your midterm results.”
Zhang Liangliang was obviously unhappy and muttered, “Dashu, you haven’t visited me for so long. Why do you need to wait three days? And you said that I’m good at studying, so how is it possible for me to not get an average of at least eighty-five? I promise my results will be better than my midterms, so can you take me out for dinner tonight?”
“I’m actually busy today. Don’t try to take advantage of—”
Before he could finish his sentence, Zhang Liangliang cut him off and grumbled, “Dashu, don’t you love me anymore?” Before Shi Lei could reply, she mumbled again, “Ah, so you don’t love me anymore…”
Shi Lei was speechless. He could only explain patiently. “I’m really busy. And there’s no point in you promising. I will not treat you before I see your results. Alright, that’s it for now. I need to call a few people back.”
Zhang Liangliang was much more mature compared to a few months ago. She complained a bit more before hanging up.
The next one was Wei Xingyue, but there was no need to call her back since that crazy woman was on her way there and there wouldn’t be much to say even if they did meet up.
Zhang Meimei had also called him twice. Shi Lei didn’t know what happened, so he returned the call.
Zhang Liangliang had found out that her calls wouldn’t connect and thought that she had been blocked, so she had asked Zhang Meimei to call Shi Lei and realized that it was the same for her.
When Shi Lei dialed the last number, it was unexpectedly Zhen Xu.
Normally speaking, Shi Lei didn't want to intervene the operations of Zhen Xu’s company and he didn’t have to give the second part of investment until after Chinese New Year, so Zhen Xu wouldn’t call him unless something had happened.
“Mr. Shi, you finally found out that your number was suspended…” Zhen Xu sounded very panicked. It seemed like something really did happen.
Shi Lei was completely speechless and thought: How can none of you be sensible? If my phone was suspended and your calls couldn’t connect, don’t you know to charge 50 or 100 yuan for me if you really are in a hurry?
“Wouldn’t your calls connect if you charged 50 yuan for my number?”
There was a long moment of silence on the other end of the line, as Zhen Xu obviously hadn’t thought about that. Shi Lei then heard a clear slap with Zhen Xu’s painful yells. He probably slapped himself in the face.
“Why didn’t I think of that...”
Shi Lei smiled. “It’s fine now. What did you want me for?”
“Oh, right. Mr. Shi, something happened to the company. Didn’t we just put the app in the store a few days ago? The number of downloads is not bad. Although it’s only a trial version, there are already thirty thousand downloads in just the Wudong area. I will get ready to expand it to the major cities. The plan for the first round is ten cities. It will cover the Huadong, Huabei, Zhonghuanan and the west. If it operates smoothly, we can start the next expansion. And although we only unlocked Wudong’s map for new uploads, the surrounding area was covered and there are also more than ten thousand downloads.”
“Isn’t that great?” Shi Lei asked, confused. “What’s wrong with it?”
“This morning at 8 AM, an app of the same kind suddenly came out. The functions are almost the same except for different displays. It’s obviously plagiarizing ours. And they have far more promotions than we do. They exceeded ten thousand downloads in just a few hours and that’s more than what we’ve had for the three days altogether. If they continue like this, I assume their downloads will exceed ours in two or three days, and we might be pushed out of the market.”
Shi Lei frowned, doubting whether it was really that serious. Everything from the app’s programming to the market research took a lot of time. Their app was only available for a week or so. Theoretically, it was impossible for a new app to come out, even if the other party was plarigizing them. The app could be reverse engineered, and it could be plagiarized, but it the market and promotions all required a large amount of time.
This definitely wasn’t as simple as plagiarism. They could only think that someone had been ready to take this product down and if they didn’t have enough time, they would even put theirs online.
But Shi Lei quickly calmed down because it was impossible for the Investment Card to be wrong. Since the graph was rapidly increasing, there wouldn’t be any problems.
“Don’t panic. It might not be as serious as you think. Have you investigated it? What company is it? And I don’t want to intervene your normal operation. What do you want me to do? After all, I’m only an angel investor.”
Zhen Xu sounded series. Perhaps it was because this was his first time starting a business and he was ambitious, but he didn’t expect to encounter this kind of incident since it had such a good start. He panicked because it was too shocking.
“The situation is actually very serious because they are obviously prepared. I don’t understand. Before I got my investment for this app, I only showed it to you—”
“Wait, are you thinking that I created another company and made the same product?”
“No, no, I’m just saying that I only showed it to you,” Zhen Xu quickly explained. “I didn’t even talk to the other potential investors about the detailed contents of the app, so theoretically, there is no reason for a leak. But there isn’t much money in the company’s account and we can’t speed up the pace of promotion even if we wanted to. I’m not doubting you. I just want to ask if you can give the second or even third stage of investments so we can increase our promotions and push the other one down.”
Shi Lei thought, even if I wanted to give you money, I need to have money first. I only have 170,000 yuan in total and it’s not enough, even if I give everything to you. And if I lose all my money, how would I have money for the future?