Sorry, it’s a little late today guys. The Thanksgiving holiday threw us off. >.< Our translator worked really hard to get it to us on time. Thanks, iijm! The chapter has only been through one round of editing. Feel free to pick out any errors and post it in the comment section, I’ll edit it as soon as I can.
Now I’m off on a date night with my girls tonight. Enjoy!
Chapter 20: A Mountain Road Swerves Around Every New Peak
Staring at the screen, Li Zhicheng asked, “Where are you going to put these posts? What’s the concrete plan?”
Lin Jian replied busily, “I have the details here…”
Li Zhicheng looked at the data one by one, inquired about them one by one, while Lin Jian replied meticulously. Half an hour passed by just like that.
These were tasks Li Zhicheng had originally assigned to her. It seemed like an exaggeration to say so, but it was the sum of her sweat and blood. Let alone, what with these grey zones skirting the line, the petty and clever-clever hype and whatever, she actually felt very much in her natural element directing the young’uns from the IT department…
So by the end of her explanation, Lin Jian had already forgotten the small moment of awkwardness. She was beaming with delight. When she saw him nodding now and then, the trace of a smile even flitting across his lips once in awhile, Lin Jian knew that the big boss was very satisfied with her work. Hahaha.
She became more confident as a result. She showed him the last post. She’d hesitated a long while about it and hadn’t dared to decide in the end. “Director Li, take a look at this. In fact, it’s not really showing a clear picture of your face. But I think that the results will definitely be very good if we post it.”
There was a caption written in huge red, lovely rounded characters on the screen: “Let me give it a shot too: Aida Corporation’s new successor – the mysterious major turned DG.” The mouse slid down again, showing a picture and several rows of characters.
Li Zhicheng looked at this picture with a slight frown.
Someone must have secretly taken that picture with their phone while he was at work. He wore a suit and was sitting in front of a desk, looking down at some documents. He was back to the light, his face vague and indistinct. One could only distinguish the straight, long bridge of his nose and the outline of his face. It simply looked like a tall young man sitting straight, looking taciturn.
Li Zhicheng looked up and glanced at her. “Delete it.”
In fact, this idea came from another girl in the IT department. Lin Jian hadn’t mixed work with private business; she felt it was feasible professionally speaking, so she kept it as an alternative. Li Zhicheng said she could temporarily make her own decisions and didn’t need to report every little thing, so she left it and waited for his final decision.
So, she wasn’t extremely surprised when she heard his straightforward refusal. She nodded, manipulated the mouse, then deleted the picture and the data from the computer.
Li Zhicheng straightened back, pulling away from her. He asked at the same time, “You still have it on your phone?”
Lin Jian: “…Yeah.”
Oh no, the big boss is definitely annoyed at having his picture taken in secret. Back then, she’d been close to her victim and pressed for time, so she’d casually taken a picture with her phone.
She was about to say she was also going to delete it from her phone, but then she heard his faint voice: “Don’t send it to anyone else.”
Lin Jin subconsciously replied, “Ok.”
Eh, she didn’t need to delete it then?
She looked in his direction. Li Zhicheng had already turned away and was leaving in big strides.
Three days later, at nine fifty in the morning, it was ten minutes before the launch of the great spring festival sale on Aida’s flagship online store.
Li Jian sat in a small office inside the IT department. Many IT engineers stood to order outside, waiting for orders that could come at any time. Meanwhile, Gu Yanzhi and Xue Mingtao were keeping an eye on the customer center.
As to Li Zhicheng, on a such an important day, he stayed in his own office rather than coming in person to the frontline.
Lin Jian thought this was very good. The more critical the juncture, the more motionless the commander in chief should stay, still as a mountain.
Ten o’clock on the dot.
Lin Jian’s eyes narrowed slightly.
The computer screen in front of her switched automatically to the webpage of the flagship store, now open to the public.
The elites in the marketing department had meticulously gone over the page’s design for this campaign. Apart from the headline, there weren’t too many bright, eye-grabbing promotional signs.
The style of the page was fresh, clean, reserved, classical. At the top was a simple introduction about “Vinda,” Aida’s luxury goods sub-brand, including quality leather imported from Italy, the American designer’s autograph, an exhibit about the meticulous manufacturing flow, and so on.
Below were pictures linking to each bag. Each bag had three prices: the price abroad, the retail price, and the promotional price.
The first purchase was complete at two past ten.
Lin Jian looked at the changes in the numbers backstage. She surprisingly felt a little excited, then was inwardly amused.
A bag with such high-quality material only earned five hundred. Now, they could only hope for the quantity to go up.
At ten o’ ten, the purchases numbered twenty.
At eleven o’clock, the purchases numbered 155.
The number of purchases kept growing as time went by. Eighty percent of them were from returning customers, twenty percent of new customers. Then the spread of the praises from the returning customers, as well as the power of the fifty cents army online, gradually manifested themselves – the traffic of the campaign’s web page was quickly growing as a steady pace.
Lin Jian spent the day with a slight nervousness amidst a generally steady state of mind.
She’d previously thought that sales volume might climb explosively today, that their popularity could spread like wildfire the internet. But facts were proving that the miracle of internet marketing wasn’t so easy to achieve. The volume of sales was considerable today, but it was basically a steady climb rather than a miracle dropping from the sky.
At seven o’clock at night, the sales reached more than eight hundred pieces in total, with a turnover above two million and a gross profit over 400k. For a company whose yearly turnover once numbered in the billions, the sales of this sub-brand really weren’t anything to speak of. But for today’s Aida, it was already a glimpse of dawn in the midst of adversity.
The workers in the information department all wore a happy expression. They hurriedly took turns and ate from their lunchboxes. But Lin Jian still couldn’t feel relaxed.
She knew very well that Aida’s products were good, that the quality-price ratio was high, but the most crucial still lay in whether the consumers would accept this sub-brand. Would this flanking battle open a way for them? They had to wait until the next day before they could know.
After using up their returning customers, whether new customers would come, whether they could maintain a steady stream of income, that was something that depended on tomorrow.
Eight o’clock on the dot.
This was today’s second critical juncture.
According to the previous public rules of the campaign, the first two thousand shoppers could participate in the lottery at eight o’clock. It followed the “smash the colored egg” lottery format commonly seen online. The probability of winning was 100%. There was twenty premium prize lots, each receiving ten thousand yuan. Following that were 5000 yuan, 2000 yuan, 500 yuan… ending at 10 yuan. The prizes totaled one million. Compared to the number of people, this prize pool was indeed very tempting.
No one would miss a free money. Lin Jian could observe this part with relative ease of mind.
Sure enough, several IDs logged in at the same time to smash the egg just a few seconds past eight. According to the arrangements, the results of the lottery would scroll at the same time on both the campaign’s web page and backstage.
Lin Jian stared tight at the campaign’s web page.
Oh boy. The first one already landed a premium prize.
“Congratulation to Shandong’s customer ‘Linda’ for winning a premium prize. Please bring your ID to any Aida store to receive your prize of ten thousand yuan cash.”
Lin Jian smiled faintly. Was this a good omen?
The second message followed almost immediately after the first. Another premium prize.
Lin Jian slightly froze, then smiled. What a coincidence.
Just then, an engineer in charge of monitoring the website suddenly stood up. “Some… something’s up!” The one beside him also froze, then said, staring tightly at the screen, “They’re all premium prizes! Hacked! We’ve been hacked!”
Lin Jian’s heart thumped violently in her chest. She looked back down. The only things she saw were notices popping on the screen, flowing like a river:
“Congratulations to Henan’s customer ‘Spinning Apple’ for winning a premium prize…”
“Congratulations to Hunan’s customer ‘YY’ for winning a premium prize…”
More than twenty of them in an instant, far above the original quota of ten. The number was still continuing to climb on top of that. She promptly stood up and ran outside. All the engineers had also noticed this anomaly. Dripping with sweat, they all looked at the department director and at Lin Jian.
The director’s forehead was also covered in cold sweat. He exchanged a look with Lin Jian, then asked, his voice deep, “How long to fix it?”
Someone replied, “We have to temporarily take the website offline if we’re going to fix it. Right now we still don’t know how deeply we’ve been hacked, how long… there’s no guarantee.”
The director’s face was already turning black. But there was no other choice in the end. With great difficulty, he looked at Lin Jian and said, “Assistant Lin, please report this situation to director-general Li. It’s all because of our negligence. We have to temporarily shut down the website, or else…”
He didn’t finish the sentence, but it was enough to make Lin Jian’s palm soaked with perspiration. In just this short while, the “premium prizes” had already gone past a hundred. Lin Jian could almost see how much of an earthquake the customer center must be going through, with everyone rushing to snatch the free ten thousand.
“I’ll call him right now.” She turned around and immediately went into her small office, shut the door tight.
Her fingers actually shook a little when she dialed the number.
So many days of effort, the final hope. Li Zhicheng had to sell real estate, sell land, so he could fund this flanking with the thirty million he got in exchange. Was it going to die a premature death here and now?
Pain. She was in great pain. Unwilling. She was really unwilling to accept.
Was it Smecki, or was it Xin Baorui?
Her voice became strangely calm when her call connected: “Director Li, something bad happened. Our flagship store’s website has been hacked, every prize is a premium price right now. The guys at IT need to temporarily shut down the website and fix it. I’m… very sorry.”
At the other end of the line, Li Zhicheng stayed silent for a moment.
Lin Jian held the phone so hard she could almost break it.
However, she never imagined in her wildest dreams that Li Zhicheng would answer her like this –
“Lin Jian, do you think we should shut it down, or not shut it down?” A cool voice, clear, slow, resolute.
Lin Jian’s heart trembled. She was suddenly dazed.
He was asking her, to close or not to close?
If they took it offline… They would break their promise to their customers, watch all their efforts go down the drain. The favorable beginning they’d struggled to build would be ruined thereon. Tomorrow’s business would definitely be dismal.
Not shutting down? Stare and do nothing while they lose twenty million?
She closed her eyes. There was only darkness.
“… Don’t close!”
 峰回路转: Literally, a mountain turns around every peak. It means something like twists and turns.