Chapter 301: Material Of A New Era
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
By late October, it had been four months since the release of the “Xing Hai Second Generation” computer.
Marketing Manager, Li Yuan Liang, gave a report on the sales of this computer model. “President Chen, Xing Hai Computer now occupies 60% of the new sub-market that was created in the personal computer market. Little by little, it is pushing the traditional computer out of the game. Microsoft was even forced to repeatedly lower the price of its genuine operating system. You can buy and use it for as little as $50. But it’s still useless. Compared with our Xuanyuan operating system, the Windows system is totally uncompetitive and is being eliminated by the market. After all, it’s not only expensive, it also has many backdoors and loopholes. The user experience is not as good as what we can provide. Consumers know which choice to make.”
Chen Jin shot a glance at him, “Stop spouting nonsense. I am asking about the sales of the Xing Hai Computer. Why are you going off on a tangent and talking a mess?”
“Yes, yes, yes.” Li Yuan Liang restrained his smile. “According to the data submitted by agents at all levels, the total number of Xing Hai Computers that have been shipped out currently stands at 6.5 million units. This includes 3 million units of Xing Hai First Generation and 3.5 million units of Xing Hai Second Generation. In addition, 60% of the quantity sold are desktops, notebooks account for the remaining 40%. But the sales revenue from these millions of Xing Hai Computers does not equate to the revenue of Xing Hai Technologies. We are only selling the most essential component – CPUs. Because of the large number of purchases from downstream manufacturers and the online ordering done by the majority of DIY players, our company’s outgoing shipments of CPUs totaled 10 million. The average price of one CPU is $1,800, which brings in a total of 18 billion in revenue to the company. The profit is about 10 billion.”
The processor market was enormous. Besides personal computers, large servers, supercomputers, specialized workstations, advanced military equipment, and various other sectors also needed CPUs and processors. In Z country’s market alone, annual processor sales exceeded $100 billion.
If Xing Hai Technologies devoured this entire market, it could generate hundreds of billions in revenue every year and earn more than $50 billion in profits. It could be said that Xing Hai Technologies was sitting on a big gold mine.
But… Xing Hai Technologies’ revenue for this year was not too good! Compared to last year, it was even experiencing a trend of decline and shrinkage.
Li Yuan Liang said with a worried heart, “President Chen, the company’s revenue this year may be more than 30% lower than last year. The market for cleaning robots is basically saturated now. The sale of Wa-wah robots has fallen by more than 40% compared to last year. The medical robots are not selling well. Several similar products have appeared in the market, and their prices are cheaper, which has caused our sales to drop by 50%. There’s no need to expound on the intelligent learning machines. It is our main source of revenue. Last year’s outgoing shipments were close to 100 million units. Almost every student has one unit. This year’s demand is awful. The shipment volume is less than 30 million units. I’m afraid there will be even fewer shipments next year. In addition, the company has launched several industrial robot products this year. Domestic factories have purchased them across the board. The sales volume is still pretty good. We’ve achieved a revenue of around 10 billion. Moreover, the CPU installed in the Xing Hai Computer has become a very significant area for the company’s profit growth. But even then, we are still unable to withstand the downward trend in revenue. Of course, the company’s work assistants, virtual factories, special effects engines, game engines, and other software products have performed well. This year’s revenue is expected to exceed 150 billion, an increase of 80% compared to last year. However, because the company has launched the ‘Star Alliance’ and ‘Xing Hai Computer Alliance’, money is flowing out like water. The rate of profits from the software products can’t keep up with the company’s rate of spending… Moreover, we have to continue spending this money for one or two years. This would offset the profit from the software products. So, not only will the company experience a sharp fall in revenue this year, but the company’s profit will also experience a similar trend. The financial statements may look worrying.”
Fortunately, Xing Hai Technologies was not a listed company. If shareholders saw the company’s revenue plummet by 30% and its profits plummet by 50%, which would be reflected in a rather ugly report, they would likely sell their shares immediately. This would result in a steep plunge in share prices. But this was the law of the real economy. This was especially true for hardware products. Saturation would occur sooner or later no matter how big the market was. Huge amounts of existing stock in the market would only limit your sales volume… This was somewhat similar to the growth curve of an organism. Pies that could be divided would lessen in number. No company could free themselves from this law, including Xing Hai Technologies.
Therefore, the decline in the company’s revenues and profits was something that would happen sooner or later. Many famous companies that had shaken the market and were once household names had since declined and disappeared. It was not because they did not work hard enough, it was because of the market rules. This was especially true for frontier fields like science and technology. Of those old companies reputed to be “100-year-old brands,” there were only a rare few who really endured for more than a hundred years.
Chen Jin long predicted this day. He also had sufficient countermeasures to effectively curb the decline of Xing Hai Technologies’ revenues and maintain the scale of annual revenues at over one trillion. After all, Xing Hai Technologies was established little more than four years ago. It was impossible for him to accept that it had so quickly gone into decline. He would maintain Xing Hai Technologies in a prosperous state for at least the next 20 years.
What right did he have to make such a bold statement? Huge strategic moves. Huge strategic moves that were constantly being executed. Those action plans would constantly create new areas of profit growth for Xing Hai Technologies. Their pace of innovation would never stop. For example, Xing Hai Technologies’ new materials research department recently made a major breakthrough. They conquered a new material technology and entered the “free application era” of this material.
Graphene. This material was exactly graphene, which did not sound all that novel.
In the conference room, on a remote video call, Tang Shengwu, who was in charge of the “Graphene” project, was extremely excited to report their results. “President Chen, CEO Ling, and other leaders, we have completely conquered graphene production technology. Whether it is single-layer graphene, double-layer graphene, reduced-layer graphene, or multi-layer graphene, even abnormally-shaped graphene like the Bucky Ball. We can prepare and mass produce any material that has a carbon atom structure. Moreover, the cost of production is not high. It has reached the standard where it can move out of the laboratory for full commercial use. Our research center can be said to be the first institution to achieve this standard. It is the first to enter the kingdom of free graphene application. We can manufacture any graphene product that we want to produce. Our research center will bring this planet into the era of ‘graphene’ materials!”
Tang Shengwu’s words were not exaggerated in the slightest. Graphene was the thinnest but also the hardest nanomaterial in the world. It was almost completely transparent and absorbed only 2.3% of light. Its thermal conductivity was up to 5300 W/m·K, which was higher than carbon nanotubes and diamonds. The vibrational frequency of its electrons at normal temperatures was over 15000 cm2/V·s, which was higher than that of carbon nanotubes or silicon crystals. Moreover, its resistivity was only about 10-6 Ω·cm, which was lower than copper or silver.
Due to these excellent physical properties, graphene had extremely broad and positive application prospects. For example, making the next generation of computers. Graphene was currently the material that was known to be the best in electric conductivity. This feature was especially suitable for high-frequency circuits. Graphene would be a substitute for silicon. It could be used to produce supercomputers in the future, making computers that could run faster and consume less energy.
It could be used to make a “space elevator” cable. Scientists imagined that space satellites would be connected to the ground by cables in the future. At that time, the satellites would become wired kites. Scientists finally found a special material that could make such space cables. This was graphene.
It could also be used as a liquid crystal display material. Graphene was a “transparent” conductor that could be used to replace current liquid crystal display materials for the production of the next generation of computers, televisions, and mobile phone displays.
It could also be used to create a new generation of solar cells. Transparent graphene conductive films were the most ideal material for a new generation of solar cells. Its high transparency would result in very high conversion efficiency for all infrared rays, including mid and long-ranged infrared rays.
It could also be used to manufacture medical disinfectants and food packaging. Researchers found that bacterial cells could not grow on graphene, but human cells were not damaged. This feature of graphene could be used to make bandages, food packaging, and also to produce antibacterial clothing, bedding, and the like.
It could also be used to create “new super-strong materials.” Graphene and plastic composites could draw on their toughness and combine their ultra-thin, ultra-soft, and ultra-light characteristics. It was the next generation of new plastics.
Moreover, graphene was suitable for making transparent touchscreens and light-transmitting plates for photodetectors and the like.
It was extremely versatile. It was a material that could trigger a technological revolution. Previously, graphene had not been fully promoted due to difficulties in production and high production costs. Now, Xing Hai Technologies’ R&D personnel thoroughly cleared these obstacles.
A new era was coming.