Editor’s note: This article is from Tencent News Potential, author Li Ruchao, and 36 Krypton was released with permission.
On April 2, Thunder changed day by day.
At around 10 am that day, a group of security guards suddenly broke into Thunderbolt’s Shenzhen headquarters and ordered all employees to stop all work.According to the Thunder employees who were on the scene that day, the security practices were quite violent, not only taking over the company’s important departments, but even forcibly taking away the employees’ personal computers.
On the same day, an internal letter of “To All Thunder” appeared in the mailbox of all employees.At this time, people suddenly realized that on the board meeting held in the morning, CEO Chen Lei was “opened” by the board of directors.
In an interview with Tencent News “Periphery”, Chen Lei said that he only knew this when he saw the news.”When I saw the news, the board of directors sent me the resolution and asked me to sign it.”
He paused, “I didn’t sign, but it’s the same if I didn’t sign.”
Chen Lei is only a professional manager. He is powerless in the face of the sudden trouble of the major shareholder Xiaomi.According to Thunder’s charter, the convening of the board of directors must be notified two days in advance.On March 31, Chen Lei admitted that he had indeed received a notice from the board of directors, but the reason was another version —– Xiaomi Finance is going to be separated from the Xiaomi system.It is Xiaomi, not Xiaomi Finance, that is related to Thunder. Xiaomi plans to replace it with another senior executive of Xiaomi, Zhou received funding.
Chen Lei said that because of physical discomfort that day, he took leave.What he did not expect was that this would be the beginning of his nightmare.
Thunder quickly began the “big cleansing”, layoffs bear the brunt.According to Chen Lei, as far as he knows, in just over a month, about 200 Netxin employees have been laid off by Xunlei, and there are more than 400 Netxin employees in total.
NetXin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thunder Group established by Chen Lei.Thunder’s hope for the future.
If this is just the normal operation of “changing the dynasty”, then, it is Chen Lei’s real anger.
“A few days ago, a former senior executive of Netxin was called by the new executive team to communicate and said he was suspected of occupational occupation,” Chen Lei said. This is not just for him, but for many people.The reason for the accusation of “post occupation” is that after the new management took over Xunlei, it only accepted five of the seven network-related companies, and refused to accept the other two companies, and refused to recognize it as Xunlei.Affiliated companies.
In response to Chen Lei’s statement about Thunder’s board of directors and Xiaomi, Xiaomi responded exclusively to Tencent News’ “First Line”. “Xiaomi and Thunder are investment and invested relationships. So far, Xiaomi has invested in more than 300 companies, many of which have been listed.
Xiaomi has always fully respected the independent operation of the invested company under the listing rules.”
He joined Thunder because of Lei Jun
In May 2014, Xunlei founder Zou Shenglong found Chen Lei, then president of Tencent Cloud Computing, and hoped he would join, but Chen Lei did not agree.Chen Lei said that he did not believe that Thunder could do cloud computing.
It was not until the end of September of that year that Lei Jun personally found Chen Lei, which really dispelled Chen Lei’s concerns.
That day, Lei Jun and Chen Lei talked for several hours, and after the chat came out, it was more than 2 o’clock in the morning.Chen Lei said that at the time he even thought that Lei Jun could see his heart and say what he said.
“I was impressed by Lei Jun ’s two points. First, he said that I knew you were doing well at Tencent, but is it good or Tencent? Do you want to try it out? Second, he said do you want to do it?A company that can do its own thing? ”
Chen Lei, who was touched by Lei Jun, quickly resigned.In November of that year, Chen Lei officially joined Thunder, responsible for Thunder’s cloud computing business.Prior to this, Xunlei’s two founders, Zou Shenglong and Cheng Hao, served as CEO and president respectively, and jointly led the development of Thunder for more than ten years.
Just like every historic company, there are a lot of old employees in Thunder; and the outstanding old employees at the technical level have laid the company’s genes, but they have become an obstacle to the company’s transformation.Against this background, Thunder also gradually lags behind in its slow transformation and becomes a sunset company.
With this decline, cloud computing has been established as a new direction for Thunder.Chen Lei was selected by Lei Jun, who had actually controlled Thunder at the time, and became a “person who opened the situation.”
In order to let the new business develop smoothly, Thunder did not put the cloud computing business into Thunder’s own system, but set up an independent accounting subsidiary Netxin Technology, with Chen Lei as the person in charge.Such a decision is largely to hope that Chen Lei abandons some of the original resistance within the company.Chen Lei recalled to Tencent News “Periphery” that Netxin did it independently, which was also a good promise from Lei Jun at the beginning, which was also a condition for him to join Thunder.
That was the honeymoon period of Lei Jun and Chen Lei.
Half a year after Chen Lei joined, Netxin Technology finally launched its first product “Thunderbolt” in April 2015.In June of that year, when Thunder launched the “Star Domain CDN”, the real intention of Thunder finally revealed-unlike the Youku and other companies that launched money-making routers during the same period, the purpose of Thunder’s money-making treasure was not completely for their own use, but to build a newCommercial CDN network.
Due to the large number of user nodes, the price of the CDN of the star domain is significantly lower than that of other CDN service providers that only use IDC services (that is, computer room servers in a general sense).”At that time, the price of the CDN market was generally 15,000-40,000 / G / month, and the net heart came directly to 9999, and the price was close to the waist,” a person familiar with the matter said.
Due to the stability of customers in this market, mainly a few large video sites, coupled with the extremely high bandwidth expenditures, some companies have to try to access Thunderbolt services even at the risk of early adopters.
This is the real beginning of Thunder’s transformation.
“When we developed the conference in 2015, Lei Jun personally attended and gave a speech. In the speech, he also said in particular that he felt that investing in Thunder was to invest in this business.” Until now, Chen Lei still has fresh memories.
Originated from the intention to shut down Thunder software?
Chen Lei told Tencent News “Periphery”. Later he heard that “dismissing him” had been premeditated, but Lei Jun had not made up his mind and didn’t make the final decision until more than a month ago, so he quickly operated.
Chen Lei recalled that until November last year, no abnormalities had occurred.The abnormal node is that he conveyed some opinions to the board of directors through various channels. Since then, the atmosphere of the entire board of directors has changed.
In Chen Lei’s view, “in the download business of Thunder, the proportion of pirated yellow is very, very high, especially in the mobile phone Thunder.”In November, Chen Lei sent a legal team to the WeChat group of the board of directors to study the PPT of the Thunder download business risk, and to communicate the risk through email.
The risk of Thunder is put on the table again because Chen Lei believes that he should slowly take down the download business in an orderly manner.
“Thunder has a lot of property rights lawsuits, and the total amount of the lawsuit is more than 100 million yuan. In 2017 alone, the amount of compensation was more than 70 million. I think the profit and risk of this business are not proportional to it and should be actively dealt with,” Chen Lei said.He knew that the risk was very high, and found that it was very large after the study. He probably violated 24 laws, of which there are 4 criminal laws, which can be sentenced up to ten years. At the same time, he also analyzed the case of fast broadcasting and sent the content to the board of directors..
According to Chen Lei, no one except the two independent directors responded to this email.
Since then, Chen Lei found that almost no one in the board of directors took care of him. Even if he talked, he became very cautious.At the time, Wang Chuan, the co-founder of Xiaomi, the chairman of Xunlei, barely returned to Chen Lei on WeChat.
Chen Lei said that perhaps at that time, Xiaomi was already trying to draw a line with Thunder.
Around January 18 of this year, Chen Lei, who found that the online communication was not smooth, went to meet Wang Chuan to report the thunder situation.This time, he found that Wang Chuan was not abnormal.
“He just told me that this year’s economic environment may not be very good, and then save money, be your CEO down-to-earth and down-to-earth management, let’s reach a consensus on this level,” Chen Lei recalled.
This also made him no longer tangled with the board’s reaction until the boots fell to the ground on April 2.
According to the announcement released by Xunlei on April 2, the replacement of Chen Lei was the thunder veteran Li Jinbo who had already left the venture and the venture project received Xiaomi investment. At the same time, Wang Chuan stepped down as chairman and the position was also replaced by Li Jinbo.
Xiaomi executives withdrew from Thunder’s board of directors and were filled by former Thunder employees led by Li Jinbo.
Xiaomi did not give up its rights to Thunder.In this adjustment, Li Jinbo ’s entrepreneurial project “far right” operating company Itui and its affiliated entities reached an agreement with Xiaomi Company and Morningside Capital, and each shareholder agreed to replace their respective Thunder sharesShares.This makes Xunlei’s largest shareholder Itui. Although shareholders such as Xiaomi do not directly hold Xunlei shares, they become indirect shareholders of Xunlei because they hold Itui shares.
To put it simply, it is to maintain Xiaomi ’s control of Thunder, and to completely isolate Xiaomi ’s rights and interests from Thunder ’s direct operation and management level, so as to achieve the purpose of risk avoidance.
However, establishing such a system to avoid risks seems to be inconsistent with eliminating Chen Lei ——— this again involves the contradiction between the Thunder founding team and Chen Lei.
Contradiction with the founding team
Chen Lei revealed that Xunlei ’s VIE has a big legacy problem: Xunlei founder Zou Shenglong has not transferred the rights of domestic Xunlei entities to the designated personnel of the board of directors of US-listed companies.
“The essence of VIE is that shareholders of Chinese companies pledge their equity and voting rights to listed US stock companies. Once the pledge is not established, the listed US stock companies are empty shells.”
In order to avoid the risk that listed companies cannot control domestic entities, in June 2017, when Xunlei appointed Chen Lei as CEO, he clearly required that the major shareholder of the Chinese company Xunlei Network Technology Co., Ltd. should transfer the large equity to the person designated by the board of directors.Later, the designated person was Wang Chuan.
But until April 1 this year, this transfer did not happen.
Zou Shenglong has been refusing to handle equity transfers.Chen Lei said that he went to Zou Shenglong for communication many times, and he prepared all the materials for him by email, and promised him various conditions, but this matter has never been described below.
This has also become a pit dug by the founding team for the Thunder company controlled by Xiaomi.After all, there is always a risk that VIE Corporation, the Chinese stock company, refuses to implement the resolutions of the board of directors of the listed company.
If the transfer cannot be completed in a domestic entity company, it means that this risk has always existed.
Chen Lei believes that this may become a negotiation between Thunder’s original team and Xiaomi to drive away their own chips.The Thunder founding team and Chen Lei have had confrontation before, and there has been a conflict.
As early as 2017 when Chen Lei took over as CEO, he was worried that the P2P business of Xunlei Big Data, an affiliate of Xunlei, would hurt the Thunder brand, and the company refused to accept Xunlei’s account.And trademark authorization.This company represents the interests of many original Thunder founding team members.
This infighting, although the Thunder Board of Directors collectively issued a statement to support Chen Lei ended, but it was the result of the Thunder founding team compromised with Xiaomi.
Chen Lei told Tencent News “Perception” that after the incident broke out, Zou Shenglong proposed a plan: Thunder spent 50 million to buy back Thunder big data company, which previously held only 28% of the shares, into a wholly-owned subsidiary, and then let Thunder bigAll shareholders of the data are cashed out.
This proposal, which represents the interests of the founding team of Thunder, immediately triggered fierce opposition from major shareholder Xiaomi. “P2P was originally a pit, and it would cost 50 million. This is unreasonable,” Chen Lei said.
Xiaomi continued to stand on Chen Lei’s side.However, Chen Lei, who received the support of Xiaomi, also formed a beam with the founding team of Thunder.
When Xiaomi no longer supports Chen Lei, he and the founding team of Thunder, which was incompatible with Chen Lei, could not tolerate Chen Lei’s existence.
But Chen Lei still did not expect that the new management and major shareholder Xiaomi would expel him in this way.
“If the board wants the CEO to take all the risks, at least the thing that can be done is not to retaliate afterwards,” Chen Lei told Tencent News “Perception”. Thunder ’s new management is trying to use the company’s affiliates to weave for NetEase employees.Charge.
It is understood that the core of the problem lies in two network-related companies: Hainan Chain Enjoy Cloud Network Technology Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Xing Fusion Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Xing Fusion).
Among them, the problem of integration is the most.Chen Lei explained that, in 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology requires IDC, ISP, and CDN companies not to build communication transmission facilities without permission, and to not use network infrastructure and IP address, bandwidth and other network access resources provided by units or individuals without corresponding telecommunications business license qualifications.In order to develop Play Cloud, Netxin acquired this company and applied for relevant license qualifications.
The company’s business model is to buy Wanke cloud machine from Netxin, and then sell the mining machine to the mine owner.Chen Lei admitted that this is indeed a connected transaction. In addition to the qualification issues, it is also considered that if there are violations afterwards, it will also be punished for Xingfu, and it will not hurt the network core in the listed company system.
(The picture is an email sent by Chen Lei to the new management team of Xunlei. Chen Lei said that he has not received a reply)
But now, the new management team refuses to admit that this is Netxin’s affiliated company.However, Chen Lei sent the new management team emails about the ownership of these two companies, and they did not reply.
“The code and data of all Xingfu companies are in the network center, and this company has not been made into an independent company,” Chen Lei told Tencent News “Perception”. When doing this project document, many company documents mentioned thisProjects, where xr is to replace Xiaorong, a lot of things appear in the work content.
Now suddenly said that this is a company established by employees in foreign countries, which makes Chen Lei very puzzled.
(The picture shows the internal mail of Netxin provided by Chen Lei to prove that Xinghe has always been in the company system)
The other affiliated company, Hainan Lianxiang Yun, was rejected by Xunlei as an associated company, which also caused dissatisfaction between Xunlei and the company’s other shareholder, Beijing Lianxiang Yun.
In 2018, Thunder was named by China Internet Finance Association as “Issuing Virtual Digital Assets with Mining Machines as the Core”, which made it clear that Xunlei had hidden risks through playing IKEA cloud disguised ICO.In September 2018, Thunder announced that it would sell part of its blockchain business to Beijing Chain Cloud, including Link, Chain Store and Link Pocket, while Thunder still retains Thunder Chain, Thunder Chain Open Platform, Thunder Chain File System (TCFS) and other low-level technical services, as well as Pokemon Cloud and shared computing services based on Pokemon Cloud Network.
Hainan Chain Enjoy Cloud is the product of this cooperation and was established by a joint venture between two companies.
According to the announcement recently issued by Beijing Lianxianyun, Beijing Lianxianyun agreed to sign an agreement with Thunder to establish a Thunder affiliated company, Hainan Lianxunyun Network Technology Co., Ltd., to cooperate with Thunder to circumvent regulatory issues; since its establishment,All official seals, systems, codes, and personnel of Hainan Chain Enjoy Cloud, including the official website of Chain Enjoy Cloud, are all controlled and managed by Thunder. Although the official website of Chain Enjoy Cloud identifies Beijing Chain Enjoy Cloud, it is actually controlled by Thunder.
Today, Thunder also refuses to recognize the company’s association with it.
Since Tencent News “Perplexity” has not seen the relevant prosecution materials, it is still impossible to judge the true relationship between the prosecuted person and the above two companies and Thunder.This question may still need to wait for further responses from both parties.
However, in Chen Lei’s view, all of this was directed at himself who established these companies.
“If it’s just for one person, that’s fine, why are you implicating others?”