Yunrou’s cancer-causing incident was so big that even though Shen Bixue believed that the matter would be resolved properly in the end, she was still worried.
Shen Bixue’s worries were seen by her husband. In the study, Li Xiyong finished reading all the news about Yunrou cancer, took off his glasses and looked at Li Mingxuan, who had been sitting quietly, “What do you think?”
Li Mingxuan didn’t think twice, “There is definitely a mastermind behind this matter. The question now is who this mastermind is?”
His father nodded, “Who do you think it is?”
Li Mingxuan mused, “Before Yunrou appeared, the domestic household chemical market had been divided by the six companies known as the six giants of household chemicals, all occupying a similar market share and maintaining a fragile balance. However, the emergence of Yunrou upset this balance. Since Yunrou’s strong rise three years ago, it managed to squeeze 10% of the market after two years of development, and Yunrou is currently gaining momentum. If it continues to be allowed to develop, the domestic household chemical market may have to be reshuffled. Under such circumstances, it is unlikely that any of those six companies would let Yunrou continue, and any of them could have made a move.”
“That’s right, those six companies are indeed all suspicious.” Li Xiyong nodded in agreement.
Li Mingxuan went on, “But I don’t think any of those six companies would do this.”
“Why?” Li Xiyong was interested.
Li Mingxuan explained, “I’ve asked Ah Ji. The presence of dioxane in shampoo is a well-known fact in the industry. Because it is not added during the production process but comes with the raw material, it is not specifically labelled in the ingredients. That being the case, if the six companies have any brains, they will not attack Yunrou over this matter, because they can be involved and the consequences will be too much for them to bear. So it’s very likely that the culprit behind this is some small, unscrupulous household chemical factory deliberately set out to break the unspoken rules of the industry and to mess up the household chemical market so that they can fish in muddy waters.
“Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that someone is maliciously throwing in the news with the intention of speculating on Shen Group’s stock for profit. After all, with the news out, Shen Group’s stock price plunged and small retail investors panicked and sold. It’s definitely cost-effective to buy at this time, after all, Yunrou is only a subsidiary of Shen Group and whether it collapses or not, there will be no damaging effect on Shen Group.”
Li Xiyong nodded, “Good, no matter which reason it is, Ah Ji is facing a tough battle this time. If he wins, he will stabilise his position as the heir to Shen Group. But if he doesn’t, I’m afraid there will be another storm at Shen Group. However, with your uncle’s guidance behind the scenes, I’m sure this matter will be turned around into a development opportunity for Yunrou.”
What Li Xiyong and Li Mingxuan didn’t know was that in the previous life, Shen Ji had successfully expanded Yunrou’s market share from 10% to 17% by relying on the “dioxane” incident and becoming the biggest dark horse in the household chemical industry in one fell swoop. He was also able to secure his position as the heir to Shen Group.
At that time, Shen Xi was in prison and the news was full of reports on “dioxane”, but unlike in this life, the one exposed to the “dioxane” incident was not Yunrou, but one of the six giants of the household chemical industry. With the exposure of “dioxane”, the company’s stock price plummeted. The company tried all kinds of methods to recover. In the end, it helplessly pointed out that ”dioxane” not only existed in their products, but also in the products of the entire industry. This argument shocked the whole country. All washing products without exception were involved in the “dioxane” incident and were questioned by consumers.
In the end, only after several giants came together to apologise and promise to re-screen raw materials and change product formulas was the matter put to rest. But the company that had pointed out the fact was then suppressed by the rest of the companies and soon disappeared from the industry. In the process, Yunrou relied on Shen Group’s strong financial backing and the latest formulas from foreign research and development laboratories, and managed to rise to the top in this reshuffle, becoming a new giant.
As of now, it seemed that everyone, including Shen Ji himself, believed that he could solve this matter perfectly, and that “dioxane” was just another opportunity for Yunrou to grow. However, before Shen Ji could invite the State Food and Drug Administration to re-examine Yunrou and pass the inspection, another story broke out.
It was still the same unimpressive tabloid, and it was still the same reporter who first reported the news of Yunrou’s cancerogenic ingredient, but this time the headline was changed to “Shen Group bribes the reporter to change his story, fabricating a false behind-the-scenes culprit!”
Underneath the headline, the reporter described in detail how Shen Group had sent someone to contact him personally and tried to pay him a lot of money to make up a false story about the behind-the-scenes culprit, thus portraying Shen Group as a victim. The reporter righteously said that the so-called mastermind was a pretext that Shen Group had created, and that there was no mastermind at all. All his reports came from the conscience of a citizen, the basic conscience of a reporter.
At the same time, the reporter also said that he had a recording of Shen Group trying to bribe him, and if Shen Group dared to deny it, he did not mind releasing the recording to the public.
When Shen Ji saw the news, he could not control his anger and called the PR department to scold them.
After venting, Shen Ji calmed down, “What exactly did you tell him?”
The manager of the PR department was a middle-aged woman in her forties named Qin Ling, who had been working at Shen’s for over ten years. She had handled countless PR crises at Shen Group in the past, but this was the first time she had been so helpless.
As she watched Shen Ji calm down, Qin Ling recounted the process of approaching the reporter in detail.
Shen Ji said coldly, “So if the recording he mentioned really exists, it’s quite unfavourable to us?”
Qin Ling nodded, “Although we tried to avoid some sensitive words in the conversation, you know that this kind of meaning can certainly be perceived. Moreover, in order to achieve the goal as soon as possible, the company did have some tendency to persuade, and this aspect should be audible as well.”
Shen Ji’s expression became very ugly.
Qin Ling’s face did not look good either. Shen Group had been developing for so many years, and the PR department had been established for nearly twenty years, so although Qin Ling did not dare to guarantee that the Shen Group brand would be liked by all the media, she dared to say that 90% of the media would give Shen Group a little face. Coupled with her rich contacts in the industry, when they encountered such smear reports in the past, they would generally receive the news in advance and often operate privately, and the articles that came out would have a harmless tone.
Even if they occasionally encountered reporters they couldn’t buy, it was all for the sake of playing for bigger profits. Once Shen Group offered enough money, the reporters would quickly change their stance. But no matter which was the case, everyone knew in their heart that such deals were made in private and not put out in the open. This time the reporter pierced the layer of paper, and it was clearly a deliberate move to set them up.
Shen Ji could already predict what kind of dilemma this news would put Shen Group in.
If Shen Group came out to refute it, in case the reporter really produced the recording, Shen Group’s image would inevitably plummet. But if Shen Group was to just keep quiet, their image would suffer anyway.
For the first time, Shen Ji had doubts about whether he would be able to resolve the matter perfectly.
While Shen Ji was worried about the Yunrou cancer incident, Shen Xi suddenly appeared at the cemetery. Since the last time he found the lilies of the valley in front of his mother’s tombstone, Shen Xi had been concerned about this matter. He didn’t want anything to get out of his control, he needed to know who this person was. And what was their relationship with his mother?
Shen Xi paid the cemetery caretaker to keep an eye on the matter and soon received the news. Since then, lilies of the valley had appeared in front of Shen Xi’s mother’s tombstone twice. The cemetery caretaker noticed that on one of these occasions, the flowers were delivered by a middle-aged man in his fifties who looked very dignified and stayed in front of Shen Xi’s mother’s tombstone for a considerable period of time.
This time the cemetery caretaker inadvertently saw the man again and immediately called to inform Shen Xi.
Shen Xi looked from afar at the unfamiliar figure standing in front of his mother’s tombstone and could not help but quicken his pace.
Hearing footsteps coming towards him, the man involuntarily glanced back and met Shen Xi’s gaze. Both of them froze at the same time.