Extraordinary Genius - Chapter 479 – Feng Hua VCD Part 1of 2
“What did you say? There is a third VCD brand in the market?” Feng Yu frowned. Could it be that someone had developed better technologies to replace VCD?
This should not be possible. No one should be able to go around the video compressing technology. This must be an imitation. This new VCD brand had infringed his copyright! Feng Yu owns all the patents about this VCD.
But if these people were able to break the code and replicate this technology, it means they were skillful. Feng Yu felt that he should pouch these people over.
Feng Yu drove to the mall and walked to the VCD counter. There was indeed a third VCD player brand. Feng Hua Brand (Meaning: Wind and China, a combination of Wind and Rain, and Aiwa).
Even the name was copying my companies. This was apparently an imitation!
“Hi, can I take a look at that Feng Hua brand VCD player?” Feng Yu pointed to a VCD player and asked.
The counter staff looked at Feng Yu. Feng Yu was very young, but she saw the watch Feng Yu was wearing. Also, Feng Yu was carrying a men’s handbag. This person must be very wealthy.
“Ok. This is the latest model of VCD player this year. Overseas celebrity had advertised for this brand, and it is very cheap. It only cost 2,900 RMB. It is cheaper than Wind and Rain and Aiwa brands by a few hundred!”
Latest model? Overseas celebrity endorsement?
Feng Yu looked at the pictures on the box of VCD player. Damn, the celebrity printed on the packaging looks like Madonna! Fine. She was indeed a famous international celebrity. But this VCD player was an imitation. How can they pay Madonna? This celebrity endorsement should also be fake.
But Madonna had never been to China and will not know her face and name was used to “endorse” an imitation product. She won’t be suing this company for damages! In Feng Yu’s previous life, many companies had used this trick to market their products.
“Can I test it?”
“Of course.” The Salesgirl connected the VD player and placed this year’s Gala Night VCD into the player.
Feng Yu had bought the exclusive rights of this program from CCTV for 1 million RMB. This VCD was given out free for every purchase of Wind and Rain and Aiwa VCD players. Now, this salesgirl was using his VCDs to test this Feng Hua VCD player!
The image quality was excellent. There were not choppy images, and the sound quality was clear. Feng Yu was shocked. This imitation was well made.
Feng Yu took out a hundred RMB note and passed it to the salesgirl: “Actually I am not buying this VCD player. Can you get me the contact details of the manufacturer?”
Feng Yu had looked at the packaging, and there was no contact information and manufacturing permit stated.
The salesgirl looked around and took out a name card from below the counter. She passed the name card to Feng Yu secretly: “Don’t let the manager see this.”
“Oh, how long has your store been selling this Feng Hua VCD player?”
“We started selling since Lunar New Year. This brand is cheaper and sells better than Wind and Rain and Aiwa brands. You cannot find this in other malls!”
Feng Yu frowned. This had been going on for quite some time, and Wu Zhigang had only just found out about this. This problem should lie with the distributors. They were the ones who order the stocks and how could they not aware of this?
“Hello, is this Manager Ou?” Feng Yu called the number on the name card. The name on the card was Ou Debao, and his title was General Manager.
“Speaking. Who is this?”
“I am from Da Hua Shopping Mall. I heard from my friend that you have cheaper VCD players for sale? I am thinking of getting some from you. Cash! Good. I will go over to look for you now.”
After hanging up, Feng Yu called Master Lu to borrow some men. He will not let this Ou Debao escape!
From afar, Feng Yu saw the person sitting by the window. He does not look like those typical unscrupulous businessmen. This bespectacled skinny man with messy hair looks more like a technician.
“Are you Feng Hua Company’s Ou Debao?”
“I am. Manager Feng?” Ou Debao stood up and extend a hand to Feng Yu.
Feng Yu shook Ou Debao’s hand and smiled: “I am from Aiwa Company. You really have the guts to turn up!”
Two muscular men standing by the door saw Feng Yu’s signal and came rushing in. They pinned Ou Debao down.
The restaurant owner came running over: “Stop fighting. I will call the police!”
One of the men took out an identification card: “We are the police and is here to arrest a suspect. You want to interfere?”
The restaurant owner moved two steps back: “No, no. Do you need help? I can get my men from the kitchen to help you.”
“What are you all doing? What crimes did I commit?” Ou Debao was shocked. He started to struggle and shout.
“Shut up. You do not know what crimes you had committed?”
Ou Debao was escorted to into Feng Yu’s car and brought to a Police station. The two policemen borrowed an interview room.
“What are you all doing to me?” Ou Debao was scared and could burst out in tears anytime.
“Just answer our questions!”
Feng Yu walked in front of Ou Debao and asked: “Are you Ou Debao? General Manager of Feng Hua VCD company, Ou Debao?”
“That’s right. What’s the problem?”
“Did you develop this Feng Hua VCD players yourself or you get it from someone else?”
“Someone sold it to me.” Ou Debao’s eyes were avoiding Feng Yu’s glaze.
“Lies! You want to be beaten up?” One of the policeman threatened.
“I am not the only one who develop it. We are a group, and we have developed this by ourselves!”
“Develop? By dismantling other people’s VCD players and then reverse engineered the technology? Do you know that you are manufacturing counterfeit products? This is illegal!”
“Illegal? How is this illegal? We develop this technology ourselves and have our own brand. How can you say we are manufacturing counterfeit products? Have you used our VCD players before? Our VCD players have sharper image and audio than Wind and Rain and Aiwa brands. How can you say we are imitating them?” Ou Debao shouted.
Feng Yu suddenly asked: “Then can your products remove mosaic?”
Damn, did these people developed Super VCD? Wind and Rain Electronics still have not developed this technology yet.
Feng Yu was relived. He thought he had wasted his money on those engineers at Wind and Rain Electronics. This was a false alarm.
“Even if you have made some improvements, but you are making improvements on Wind and Rain and Aiwa products. Do you know that “VCD” is also a brand? This is my brand. You had used “VCD” in naming your products. This is an infringement of copyrights!”
There was little awareness of Intellectual property rights in this era. In the early 90s, China was listed on US priority watchlist and was restricted from accessing technology. This was because there was no IP protection.
Feng Yu knew that the US government was suppressing China enterprises after other companies had sued Wind and Rain for monopolizing the humidifier and bladeless fans market. The US wanted to use this as one of their chips when negotiating with China.
Within these few years, China’s awareness of IP protection will increase. Last September, the Copyrights law was amended to cover up the loopholes. This was even reported on the news. How can this person not know?
“I really don’t know about this. We are the ones who developed this technology.”
Feng Yu shook his head. There was no point reasoning with this ignorant person.
“When the Trade Bureau and the police shut down your company, you will know that you have committed an offense. If you are free, go and read up on the copyrights law. I am not scaring you. If I were to sue you, you would be bankrupted!”
Hmmm… Feng Yu was only scaring him. In current China, the punishment was not that severe.
“Ah? We are only manufacturing our own VCD players. Why is this not allowed?” Ou Debao mumbled to himself.
“How many VCD players have you manufactured?”
“About 100. We had assembled everything ourselves, and it is sold only in a few malls. I really do not know that this is against the law. Can you let me go? I will not do this again!”
Only 100 units? Feng Yu nodded. No wonder the distributors were not aware of this. Seems like it was those malls that were hiding this VCD player from the distributors. The profits for this Feng Hua VCD players might be higher than Wind and Rain brand.
These people can still be considered skillful. They should be working at Wind and Rain Electronics.
Translator’s notes: It’s been a while since I read Journals.
More info about China’s copyright laws in the 1990s.