The Change of Purple Light: The “Internal Fight History” of a Chip Giant

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Last December, a ten-page public statement by Jiankun Group became Zhao Weiguo’s last desperate attempt.
In the statement, Jiankun Group pointed directly at the administrator of the bankruptcy reorganization of Ziguang Group, saying that this reorganization plan will directly cause the loss of state-owned assets of 73.419 billion yuan in the current period, and most of the money will fall into the private pockets of Li Bin and others. Between Zhao Weiguo and Li Bin, the old hatred has not ended and new hatred has been added, which has the potential to ignite the Purple Light Group.
But this counterattack did not stop the end of the “era of Zhao Weiguo” of Ziguang Group. According to the latest news from Caixin. com, Zhao Weiguo was taken away from his home in Beijing by the relevant departments in early July and is currently in a state of loss of contact with the outside world.
He was kicked out by a “barbarian” outside the door, which Zhao Weiguo could not have expected in the past. In that year, he took the opportunity of the restructuring of Ziguang Group to open the way to take control of Ziguang Group. He cleaned the management of Ziguang Group by means of thunder, and at the same time, he took all the shares of the minority shareholders who were opposed to it, so as to secure the position of “leader” of Ziguang Group.
Zhao Weiguo can be said to be “a winner and a loser” to Ziguang Group. The growth of Purple Light Group into the current chip giant cannot be separated from its crazy mergers and acquisitions. However, the debt crisis and forced restructuring are also due to these crazy mergers and acquisitions. In addition, in the process of Zhao Weiguo’s merging and merging the Purple Light Group into a giant, there is hidden smoke and struggle hidden behind the digestion and integration, which has already buried a crisis for the turbulence of the Purple Light Group.
And if viewed vertically, this seems to be a common problem of giants with school-enterprise background.
The shareholders’ “fight” is a mess
The “Zhao Weiguo” era of Ziguang Group can be roughly divided into three stages:
In the first stage, from 2009 to 2013, Ziguang Group completed the mixed reform, and its shareholding changed to 51% held by Tsinghua Holdings, 49% held by Jiankun Group. After Zhao Weiguo cleared the minority shareholders, Ziguang Group was officially led;
In the second stage, from 2013 to 2020, under the leadership of Zhao Weiguo, Ziguang Group entered the road of buy-and-buy M&A expansion;
In the third stage, from 2020 to 2022, the debt crisis of Ziguang Group led to the introduction of Fangzhilu Jianguang Joint Venture to restructure. On July 11, Ziguang Group and its subsidiaries announced that 100% of the company’s equity had been registered in the name of Beijing Zhiguangxin Holding Co., Ltd., and the era of Zhao Weiguo was completely over;
The Change of Purple Light: The “Internal Fight History” of a Chip Giant
At first, Ziguang Group implemented restructuring. There were two main listed companies under Ziguang Group, one was Ziguang Guhan, and the other was Ziguang Shares. Zhao Weiguo became the owner of Ziguang Group, which was strong and overbearing. After serving as the general manager of Ziguang for 18 days, he directly changed the management of Ziguang Guhan and arranged Li Yi and Fang Jiwen, the former is the shareholder of Jiankun Group, and the latter is the vice president of Jiankun Group. However, after a short time, the equity of Capital Travel Group, the shareholder of Ziguang Group, was transferred, and the management changed again.
Zhao Weiguo intends to control the purple light, which is beyond reproach. However, the turbulent tide among shareholders has not been calmed down, causing the management to suffer and the company’s early turmoil. Fortunately, the shares held by BTG and were not very large. He controlled Ziguang Group relatively smoothly, but his company was not so lucky.
In 2013, Li Yi, who was still in his term of office, suddenly left the office for some reason. At that time, Ziguangguhan was faced with huge compensation. Zhao Weiguo rushed to find someone to save the scene and recommended Qiao Zhicheng as the director candidate. But when the annual shareholders’ meeting was held in the next year, many people thought that Qiao Zhicheng and Fang Jiwen were firmly established. However, both of them lost the election, resulting in the failure of the new board of directors.
“The power struggle between the two major shareholders has been a public secret in the company. After Li Yi resigned in August last year, the management’s heart was broken, and the achievements just made were offset”, a former employee of Ziguang Guhan once sighed. At that time, Ziguang Group and Hengyang State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission held 41.06 million shares and 37.94 million shares of Ziguang Guhan respectively, accounting for 18.39% and 17% respectively. Their shares were almost the same. Therefore, the two sides fought openly and secretly and never gave in to each other.
This year, Ziguang Guhan handed in a very poor financial report. According to the performance forecast, the company had an expected loss of 130 million yuan to 150 million yuan in 2013, while the net profit in 2012 reached 138 million yuan.
Perhaps it was in the case of Ziguang Guhan that Zhao Weiguo has been strengthening his control over Ziguang Group in the future. Even though this giant has included more and more companies through crazy mergers and acquisitions, the control of Jiankun Group has increased. In 2013, Ziguang Group formed a situation in which Tsinghua Holdings held 51% of the shares and Jiankun Group held 49% of the shares. By 2018, the proportion of Tsinghua Holdings will be reduced from 51% to 15%, and Jiankun Group will become the largest shareholder completely.
However, when the shareholders’ struggle subsided, Ziguang did not move towards stability. However, with the increasing number of business entities involved in mergers and acquisitions, internal conflicts turned into disputes between new and old people.
“Son of Heaven” and “minister” in the four dynasties
In March of this year, Chu Qing, the former CEO of Unisplendor, left a resignation message in the internal WeChat group. It seemed that he was unwilling to leave. The dawn of the listing of the sci-tech innovation version was near, but he had to leave. In fact, Chu Qing was prepared. He was the person Zhao Weiguo recruited from Huawei Haisi. After the takeover party entered, Ziguang Group began to reorganize. As one of the most valuable businesses, Ziguang Zhanrui could not stay with him.
However, after Chu Qing left office, the atmosphere inside Zhanrui seemed to be very “delicate”. Some employees who had left the company said that “today is a good day”, and some old employees still in the company also said that they were very happy. It was said that some people even drove to the outer ring of Shanghai to set off fireworks to celebrate.
Ziguang Zhanrui was acquired and combined by Zhao Weiguo. In 2013, Ziguang Group completed the acquisition of Spreadtrum Communications, and later launched the acquisition offer of Ruidico. The two companies ranked second and third in the domestic chip field respectively. After packaging and merging, Ziguang Group became the leader in the domestic chip field at one stroke.
The dragon head is indeed the dragon head, but the internal collapse is also the real collapse. “The mountains are full of smoke, the public tools are used for private use, the law is lax, the talents are scattered, and the career is depressed”, which is not the rumor of the market, but the self-evaluation of Zhanrui on the company before 2018.
The Change of Purple Light: The “Internal Fight History” of a Chip Giant
In 2014, after the acquisition of Spreadtrum and Ruidico, Ziguang Group began to promote the merger. Li Liyou, the former CEO of Spreadtrum, took office and became the head of Spreadtrum. Although Li Liyou’s qualifications and abilities are very strong, his position is not stable. He has seen Zhao Weiguo’s thundering tactics and knows that he is likely to change Zhan Rui into his own person in the future. The appearance of the “traitor” Yuan Diwen is a signal. He left the company and, after the expiration of the non-competition period, transferred to the powerful rival of the company, Zhan Rui, as the vice president.
After Yuan Diwen entered Zhanrui, it is reported that he brought many of his own people, and the two sides fought openly and secretly against the old Zhanxun people at that time. Of course, it is not only Yuan Diwen, but also Zhao Weiguo who has recruited many senior executives from outside, including Zeng Xuezhong, who is known as “Zeng Billion” in ZTE. He has high hopes for Zeng Xuezhong.
Zhao Weiguo replaced Li Liyou with Zeng Xuezhong, but less than a year later, Zeng Xuezhong was replaced by Chu Qing. In less than two years, Ziguang Zhanrui completed three power transfers.
The Change of Purple Light: The “Internal Fight History” of a Chip Giant
The management level naturally changes. At first, after Chu Qing took over, it seemed that he intended to change the current situation of the mountains in the interior, otherwise there would be no self-reflection in 2018, but the reality did not develop so much. Chu Qing himself started the internal fight. He recruited colleagues from Huawei Hisense, the former company, and crowded out a group of old Spreadtrum staff, replacing most of the company’s management with Hisense staff. At one time, Ziguang Zhanrui was ridiculed as “Huawei Branch”.
It has been rumored that Ziguang Zhanrui has a serious internal fight. In order to eliminate dissidents among colleagues, they often report to their superiors. This is not groundless. In 2020, the General Manager of Zhanrui Terminal Business Department and the Director of Marketing Management Department were dismissed by the company for using public funds to entertain former colleagues who had changed jobs to competitors. It is said that their chat content was recorded and reported to the top level.
As for who recorded it and how to record it, think carefully and fear deeply.
Now, Ziguang Zhanrui has once again ushered in a new management. Whether the domestic chip industry leader can get rid of the internal contradictions over the years is still unknown.
The “tragic” fate of top schools and enterprises?
The start of Ziguang Group cannot be separated from Tsinghua University. Zhao Weiguo, as a graduate student of Tsinghua University, entered Tsinghua Tongfang in 1997, and then began to gradually become the leader of Ziguang Group. At the same time, another school enterprise based on Peking University has also developed rapidly. This is Peking University Founder. In just four years, Peking University Founder has successfully listed in Hong Kong.
Compared with the Purple Light Group, the internal fight of Peking University Founder is more intense and absurd, and also more protracted, so that the tide setter of this era died in the internal fight.
I remember that on December 11, 2017, near the Zhongguancun Software Park in Haidian District, a “battle” took place in full view of the public. One side was Yu Li, Feng Zhidan, and the other was Li Dai, an employee of Founder Group. Yu Li and others took advantage of Li Dai’s official seal and business license when they went to the tax bureau to apply for certificates. They directly stole the official seal and business license. Li Dai had to call the police for help. This is not the most ridiculous scene of the internal fight of the Founder of Peking University. In 2019, Zhaorun Investment launched a special reporting website, and a drama of two shareholders publicly reporting major shareholders was staged.
It is not only Ziguang Group and Beijing University Founder that are in crisis among the giants from the background of school and enterprise. Harbin University of Technology Group broke its capital chain in 2018 and entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2020; At the end of 2020, Tus Holdings defaulted on US dollar debt. In March this year, Tus Environment was thunderous.
The Change of Purple Light: The “Internal Fight History” of a Chip Giant
Shareholder disputes, management turbulence, loss of state-owned assets, debt crisis… fundamentally, these problems may be traced back to the incomplete reform of schools and enterprises.
On the one hand, it is difficult for the school with its own interests and traditional ideas to get along with the newly introduced shareholders and management, or some of them are hostile to the privatization of school enterprises, while on the other hand, it is a strategic investor with different purposes in the marketization of operation and management ideas. The contradiction between the two sides can not be solved through share reform.
For example, Tus Holdings, in 2020, Tsinghua Holdings completed the transfer of control of the Tus Department, which marks the complete completion of the three-year school-enterprise reform of Tus Holdings. However, a strange phenomenon is that three parties are listed as the largest shareholder of Tus Holdings. Tsinghua Holdings, Baijun Investment, Hefei Construction Investment and its concerted person Shushan Urban Investment all hold 22.242% of the shares of Tus Holdings. Moreover, according to the announcement of the listed company Tus-Environment, Tus-Environment is in the state of no actual controller due to the change of the holding structure of Tus-Environment’s controlling shares.
In the process of school-enterprise reform, all parties always have to fight around equity and control. If there is a fight above, there will be “mountains” below. In addition, combing the development history of these well-known schools and enterprises, a similar vein is that they habitually choose to increase their own chips by means of mergers and acquisitions, achieve business expansion, and reach out to real estate, finance, technology, medicine and other fields, but most of them are out of control at the end of the debt.
College and enterprise background. Theoretically speaking, the university’s high talents and technological strength are their core market advantages. But whether it is Ziguang Group or Beijing University Founder and other enterprises, we can see that they are not taking the path of independent research and development and self-development, but rapidly building up a seemingly strong giant with the help of capital means.
Some have collapsed and some are in deep crisis.
In the environment where the domestic chip industry is eager to seek breakthroughs and catch up, we need Purple Light Group, but what we need more is a down-to-earth Purple Light Group. Zhao Weiguo has built a framework of a chip giant through buying and buying. Now, with the end of Zhao Weiguo’s era, he hopes to usher in new opportunities.

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