Chapter 79 – The Company was suspended
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“Feng Yu, can you go out for a while? Your family is looking for you.”
Feng Yu was in the middle of class when someone knocked on the door. The teacher opened the door, had a few words with the one standing outside and called Feng Yu.
“Brother Li, what happened?” Feng Yu had an uneasy feeling. If it were nothing extraordinary, Li Shiqiang would not look for him in school. What he worried most was something terrible happened to his family!
“Xiao Yu, our company was suspended!”
“What? The company was suspended! Who ordered this suspension and for what reason?” Feng Yu was shocked. The company can close, but if the company was suspended, the company’s account would be frozen. If he had no money, he would miss the great opportunity next year. That opportunity will be more profitable than running the company!
“The City’s anti-smuggling team of the Police. They claimed that we are smuggling!”
“Help me apply the day off from school and we will go to the anti-smuggling team!”
“You two are from Tai Hua Trading? Where is the registered owner and why did you bring a student here?”
Because of the rushed, Feng Yu was still in his Third High School’s uniform.
“The owner is my father, and he had authorized me to handle all matters regarding the Company.”
The officer looked curiously at Feng Yu. There must be something wrong with the owner of the company. Why did he send a student over? Did he think that he was able to escape punishment by sending a student over? Now was only gathering facts and later, the owner would still have to go to jail. Did the owner think that this kid would go to jail in his place?
“You can handle this? What do you know? Eh, I am talking to you. Ask the owner to come over now. If not, it will be more serious!” The officer pointed at Li Shiqiang and shouted arrogantly.
“You said that we were smuggling. Where’s the proof? We have legal documents for all our products. How can we be smuggling?” Feng Yu asked loudly.
“What are you shouting for? Where do you think this is? This is the Anti-smuggling office! I will arrest you if you raise your voice again and even make your school expel you!”
Feng Yu’s shouting attracted the Captain.
“What is happening? Xiao Su, who are these two people?”
“Captain Zheng, these two are from Tai Hua Trading. They want to create trouble!” The officer accused Feng Yu and Li Shiqiang in front of them.
“We are not creating trouble but here to understand what’s happening? Our company was accused of smuggling goods and can’t we come over and find out what actually happened?” Feng Yu turned and spoke to Captain Zheng.
“Where did you get those Soviet Union produced agricultural machines imported by your company?”
“We bought them.”
“You bought them? If those were bought through legal means, why are they so cheap? Where’s the contract? Where’s the import documents?” Captain Zheng sneered.
These imported machines were of good quality and priced lowered than domestic produced machines. These can’t be imported legally! Furthermore, he was instructed by Deputy Mayor Xu’s secretary to “take care” of this Tai Hua company. Of course, he had to act fast and settle this properly.
“We have the contract and importation documents. You can send someone to accompany us back to the company to retrieve it.” There was a seal on the main door of the company, and it was against the law to remove the seal themselves.
“You dare to order me? No contract and no documents mean that you are smuggling!”
No matter what Feng Yu said, this Captain Zheng did not listen. In the end, he got his men to throw the two of them out of his office.
“What should we do now, Xiao Yu? Should I think of a way to ask that Captain Zheng out and give him some gifts?” Li Shiqiang said worryingly. Smuggling was considered a serious crime.
Feng Yu waved his hands and said: “No. From his attitude just now, he does not want money. If he wanted money from us, he can just bring his men to our office for a talk. He does not need to suspend and seal our company. There must be someone behind all these. Let’s go to the Office of Foreign Trade.”
This period, Feng Yu did not forget to keep in touch with Bing City’s future Mayor. He often drops by his office to “report his progress” or thank the support of the Office of Foreign Trade.
This time, he might need the help of Li Ruiqiang. If Feng Yu could retrieve the documents, he will be able to prove his company’s innocent.
Li Ruiqiang sat on the sofa and listened to Feng Yu. When Feng Yu finished, he asked: “Can you explain to me why the machines imported by your company so cheap?”
“The Soviet Union’s economy is not doing well now, and there is a lack of development in their agricultural sector. This affected the sales of these agricultural machines. Our Soviet partner sold these machines to us at a low price and we, in turn, sell these machines to the dealers at a low price too. We are using the cost leadership strategy.”
“What are you saying? The Soviet Union’s economy is not doing well? Where did you hear it from? Even if they lacked in the agricultural development, why can’t they export those machines to other countries? Why should they sell those machines to you at such low prices?” Zhang Ruiqiang doesn’t believe what Feng Yu had just said.
“The Soviet Union’s economy is currently going downhill. It is because they had used all their budget on their military. My partner’s father is a high-ranking officer in the Soviet Army. We had worked together for a long time, and the products our company exported was to his company. He wanted to sell these farming machines, of course, he would look for me first. The prices are low was because he had got them cheap.”
Zhang Ruiqiang did not pay attention to the last few sentences. He was thinking about what Feng Yu said about the decline of Soviet Union’s economy. What Feng Yu said made sense to him. He was only curious about why the farming machines were so cheap. Even if Feng Yu did not ask him for help, he would also help him. His office had just given Tai Hua Trading Company an award and now this company was being suspended for smuggling? This was like a slap to the Office of Foreign Trade’s face!
Zhang Ruiqiang also liked Feng Yu. Although Feng Yu was still young and attending high school, he was competent and knows how to build good relationships. Just the Autumn festival two days ago. Tai Hua Trading had given his department a lot of festive gifts, and his men can enjoy an enjoyable holiday.
Sometimes, he felt that Feng Yu was too matured for his age. He felt like a teenager with an old man’s soul.
Zhang Ruiqiang picked up the phone in front of Feng Yu and made a call to his friend in the City Government to ask him to find out what happened to Tai Hua Trading.
After a while, the other party called back and told him that he had found out from the Anti-Smuggling Team that it was the instructions from the Deputy Mayor Xu. He can’t help much.
He knew Deputy Mayor Xu they were not close and not considered friends. He made a call to the Deputy Mayor and found out that he had ordered his men to investigate Tai Hua Trading because they were selling those machines cheaply. The machines could be obtained through illegal means.
Deputy Mayor Xu oversaw Industrial development, and Zhang Ruiqiang knew that this was about local protectionism. The local factory must have complained to the Deputy Mayor.
Although the Deputy Mayor did not lift the suspension, he still agreed to allow Tai Hua Trading’s staff to retrieve the documents from their office because of Zhang Ruiqiang. With the papers, Feng Yu would be able to prove that he did not smuggle in the machines.
But later, Deputy Mayor Xu also mentioned that even if Tai Hua Trading was proved to import those machines in legally, they were not allowed to sell those machines so cheaply!
Translator notes: Michael Porter stated in his book, about the 3 approaches to business strategies. He called these strategies “Generic strategies”, which consists of Cost leadership, Differentiation, and Focus strategies. Management students should be familiar with these.
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