Chapter 175: The Hundred Cities plan
On 3rd July, the Greece legend unfolded just as Xu Tingsheng had seen play out in his previous life, the originally unknown Angelos Charisteas ending that miraculous 2004 Euro Cup that was rather like a Nordic fairy tale with a single header.
For Xu Tingsheng, watching Rui Costa challenge the Euro Cup again and seeing him leaving his national team with regrets once more, whilst exciting to watch, was also a painful matter.
Around the same time, Xu Tingsheng finished his first year of university and Xiang Ning finished her eighth grade. Following the summer holidays, he would be in his second year, whereas she would be in ninth grade before soon ascending to senior high.
The last time Xu Tingsheng went over to give Xiang Ning tuition that semester, he realised all of a sudden that Little Xiang Ning who was finally keeping her hair long was growing closer and closer to how she had looked in his previous life…anyway, in ‘that’ area of development, it would not be much different even after she had grown up.
Xu Tingsheng suddenly thought of Wu Yuwei’s words, “In senior high, we’ll have grown up then?”
This caused Uncle to feel greatly conflicted: Senior high…Could he make his move then? No, Xu Tingsheng, you beast! Does Big Xiang Ning know that you’re so shameless? If she did, would she still want you?
On the night of their final examination paper, Xu Tingsheng and his roommates went to play online games overnight at an internet cafe just like most other university students.
Most guys in university led lives as ‘decadent’ as this. That night, if not for Tan Yao’s iron-forged relationship with the chick who worked there, even finding computers to play the whole night through would not have been easy.
The next morning, Xu Tingsheng dragged his exhausted body to a coffee shop in the city district where he had agreed to meet with Chen Jianxing. There, he ate breakfast whilst doing the interview that had been agreed upon. Due to his fatigue, Xu Tingsheng was not in a very conversational mood. Still, Chen Jianxing managed to obtain the information he wanted.
Hucheng Education would be based in Yanzhou for at least the next four years. Also, from the upcoming summer holidays onwards, Hucheng would be entering a new development phase, that of the Hundred Cities plan.
“Why is it four years that can be promised?”
Chen Jianxing noticed that this time span was actually a little strange. If Xu Tingsheng had said three years, Chen Jianxing would have been able to understand it as him setting his graduation from university as that major turning point. Now, he had set it at four years. What did this mean?
“This is to give myself another year to look for a direction after having graduated from university,” Xu Tingsheng thought for a while before answering.
The reason he had to consider his answer was that there was no way for him to tell other people that this time span of four years was actually not based according to the phases of his own life. Instead, it was based upon Xiang Ning’s life phases. Four years later, Xiang Ning would be going to university. Bar any unexpected circumstances, Xu Tingsheng would be able to accompany her often as her boyfriend at that time. Naturally, Hucheng’s core might follow along.
“What Hundred Cities plan is that? How long will it take?” Chen Jianxing changed the topic.
“Within three years. Our plan is for the services of Hucheng Education’s platform to be available in at least a hundred mid-scale or higher cities in the entire nation and also for us to have holistic training institutes in at least half of these cities within the next three years.”
This development plan had been scrutinised many times amongst Hucheng’s higher echelons. This had also not been done just amongst their shareholders and mainstays. Xu Tingsheng had even invited a number of professional academics and consultants, asking for their opinions on it. Even Yanzhou University’s Principal, Zhao Kangwen, had expressed his opinions and given his suggestions many times before. Therefore, the plan was actually extremely clear and detailed within Xu Tingsheng’s mind.
However, developmental plans such as ‘southern conquest and northern subjugation’ and ‘grand central breakthrough’ were really a little too ‘awesome’ in their usage. Xu Tingsheng felt that he should reserve these for use in his company, rather than telling them to Chen Jianxing and having them published on the newspaper to be scoffed at by others.
Hearing Xu Tingsheng say three years, Chen Jianxing suddenly got very excited as he asked enthusiastically, “Three years-does this mean that before you graduate from university, you aim to turn Hucheng into a massive entity of the education industry?”
“Bro, aren’t you exaggerating a little?”
Xu Tingsheng and Chen Jianxing could already be considered close acquaintances now, the words exchanged between them therefore being rather more casual. Actually, the terms like ‘empire’ and ‘conglomerate’ that Chen Jianxing had used had also been mentioned by those of Hucheng before. It was just that Xu Tingsheng would always reply, “Let’s be a little more low key. These two terms really scratch me flustered.”
It was precisely because of this that Xu Tingsheng didn’t dare to mention to anybody that Hucheng Education was merely a single part of his grand scheme. Otherwise, they would definitely feel that Xu Tingsheng was delusional, had gone insane.
“How is it exaggerated? If your plan really succeeds, that would indeed be an education empire. Also, at that time, you would just have graduated from university. Just having graduated! Do you know how shocking this is?”
Chen Jianxing’s excitement came from his shock at the majesty of the blueprint that Xu Tingsheng had drawn. It also followed from his utmost certainty that this article of his would definitely be approved and praised by his higher-ups and even those up in positions of authority.
As for his close relationship with Xu Tingsheng, it would undoubtedly increase his weight in the eyes of his higher-ups, being extremely beneficial for his future development and promotions.
It must be known that it was currently rumoured that Xu Tingsheng had previously refused countless interview requests. He, Chen Jianxing having succeeded where so many major publications had failed, what was this if not a show of his capabilities?
Not just capabilities, this was even a unique connection that no one would dare to look down on.
As a media personnel of the bureaucracy, Chen Jianxing naturally understood the thoughts of those up in positions of authority. If Hucheng Education really developed according to Xu Tingsheng’s plans, this entailed that in the next four years at the very least, Yanzhou would possess a gold name card amidst the wave of popularity of the internet economy. Meanwhile, this name card would always be stamped with the trademark ‘university student entrepreneur’.
A team of university student entrepreneurs would have established an education empire before their graduation, and it was Yanzhou where it would have risen to prominence. If that day truly came, those important figures all wanted to bask in the glory as well. Yanzhou City, Yanzhou University-these names would shine resplendent wherever they were mentioned.
“Anyway, play it down as much as possible when you write it. I’m even regretting doing this interview a little now,” Xu Tingsheng said helplessly.
“Rest assured, I’ll think about it. Plans and dreams-the difference of a single word can block a lot of controversy for you. I’m good at this stuff. Actually, it isn’t just this article. If you need it in the future, you can actually leave things to your bro to deal with if you need some ‘deliberation’.”
Chen Jianxing proposed such a thing before carefully observing Xu Tingsheng’s reaction. After all, in just half a year’s time, this boy before him was already long since no longer that ordinary student whom he had seen at the People’s Square that day last year when it had been snowing.
“Alright, I’ll be leaving it to Bro Chen then. If there’s anything I have to trouble Bro Chen with in the future, I’ll be dispensing with the formalities with you,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Xu Tingsheng understood the ‘deliberation’ that Chen Jianxing spoke of. If he accidentally got involved with something he shouldn’t get involved in, said something that he wasn’t supposed to say or went too far with his words or off topic, he would be needed then. There were few people indeed who could manage to handle themselves properly always.
One of the electives that Xu Tingseng had chosen was known as formal writing. It was for this very reason that he had chosen it. With Chen Jianxing, an insider of the media who was greatly proficient in this area having exhibited his willingness to help now, Xu Tingsheng was naturally very happy to accept it.
“There’s no need to be polite between us.”
At Xu Tingsheng’s approval, Chen Jianxing discovered that he was actually a little moved. This was actually with him being faced with a kid who was some tens of years younger than him. Perhaps some people in this world were truly destined to be unordinary.
“I didn’t sleep at all last night. I’ll go back and catch up on sleep,” Xu Tingsheng said before standing up, leaving a red packet that he had prepared beforehand on the table.
Seeing this, Chen Jianxing took the red packet and rose, wanting to return it to Xu Tingsheng. Still, seeing Xu Tingsheng smiling and shaking his head towards him, he hesitated for a moment before only being able to accept it through tacit agreement.
This meant that Xu Tingsheng was expressing: It’s still the same between us. I will not preside over you just because I am different from in the past. You write for me with your words, and I’ll give you renumeration-this will not change between us.
Why didn’t Xu Tingsheng dare to be casually interviewed by and featured in some major newspapers, yet was willing to talk to Chen Jianxing about all this?
It was because he couldn’t control the articles by those major publications. Maybe things would clearly have gone well between them, but would be distorted and misrepresented as soon as he turned around, only selectively depicting a portion of the entire truth or even maliciously setting him up to fall…interacting with the media had never been an easy thing.
In order to ‘liven things up’ or for some unspeakable motives, they often did some ‘unbelievable’ things with ease, with the victims generally having no way of defending themselves.
‘Public sentiment’ had always been intentionally directed by some. It could be casually influenced at the whims of these people.
Chen Jianxiang was different. At the very least, he could be controlled by Xu Tingsheng to some extent. At the very least, he was currently used to considering problems from Xu Tingsheng’s perspective, deliberating on them for him such that his words would come across rightly.
As for the influence of news articles, Yanzhou Nightly indeed didn’t have much influence in places outside of Yanzhou. Still, in this era where the internet was rapidly developing, need they still fear that the reports might not spread?
After Chen Jianxing had completed the draft, he sent it over to Xu Tingsheng for him to look through. Xu Tingsheng deleted two words that he had used, and he accepted it very naturally. This was the tacit agreement that Xu Tingsheng had intentionally established between them. It did not have to be said out loud, for they both understood it well.
Three days after the article had been published, Xu Tingsheng was invited for a meeting with a few important figures of Yanzhou City’s government.
Meeting with these people who were on a whole different level from him in terms of identity and personal experience, Xu Tingsheng could maintain no aura to speak of. The best mode of action for him was leveraging on his young age to act a little bolder.
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng did not hold back at all in trying to obtain the necessary governmental support.
“Within the next two years, if Hucheng Education is still developing fine, I hope that you can consider the matter of us securing a base of operations. We’re currently still squatting in a riverside residence that seems like it might really be turning into a danger zone soon.”
At the end of it all, Xu Tingsheng shamelessly extended his hands towards ‘land’, that which held the most potential for growth in the upcoming decade and more. This was a rare chance, being a pie that absolutely no one would be willing to miss taking a bite out of.
Xu Tingsheng remembered an incident from his previous life. That capable person who had made a loss in a grocery business probably just a few years ago had obtained 140000 square metres of land on the basis of establishing a processed groceries supermarket, currently being in the midst of preparing to earn a profit off it.
Who would have thought that one day, this person would possess the ability to stir up a storm with his own power, launching a real estate empire like Vanke.
“If there is indeed a need for this at the current moment, you can rest assured that we will definitely consider it for you.”
Xu Tingsheng obtained such a noncommittal answer.
At the same time, Hucheng Education officially embarked on its ‘Hundred Cities plan’. In the first phase of this plan, they would be expanding south along the shoreline.