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By Chen Liyuan
At the beginning of December 2019, the domestic new crown epidemic broke out, and epidemic prevention materials, mainly masks, were in short supply. In February 12, Lin Dong was entrusted by customers and friends to go to Turkey to purchase masks and meltblown cloth alone.
In Turkey, he accidentally became the subject of a documentary.During the two-week follow-up shoot, Lin Dong showed his experience as a businessman purchasing medical supplies abroad with a huge amount of money.With both business and life threatened, Lin Dong's experience was an adventure.
After the broadcast of "Mask Hunter", he scored 8.4 on Douban, and Lin Dong has become a unique presence besides the mainstream hotspots this year.
One year later, Lin Dong accepted an exclusive interview with China News Weekly.During the week of visiting Lin Dong, more roles other than the "mask hunter" began to gradually emerge.
A person who possesses both the acumen of a businessman and a temperament of a gambler, deviates from the established track in the Black Swan incident, but is stimulated with more energy.Fame, trapped, "gambling", gains and losses, the complexity and subtlety of human nature reflect the background of the times.
Lin Dong felt that the trip to Turkey was a "big test" for him.
Before the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, Lin Dong had been in the medical industry for 9 years.In the meantime, he has received 2 million yuan in financing from investment institutions and has faced operational crises several times. "In the Spring Festival of 2020, all the cash in my personal account is only 50 yuan."
After nine years of hard work, the 9-year-old businessman only felt confused.
"After the epidemic, I have successively received requests from friends and medical institutions to help them buy masks." Initially, Lin Dong contacted Turkey remotely by phone to buy them. After calling the other party with RMB XNUMX or XNUMX million, the agreed goods were delayed. It was not issued, and the caliber changed day by day. "Although the situation was complicated and changeable in the early stage of the epidemic, I never knew it."
Lin Dong, who carried only XNUMX to XNUMX million yuan, quickly became a "celebrity." Many local people knew that a wealthy Chinese came here to buy masks and was in urgent need.
"Later, I hired a bodyguard. I think it was necessary." Lin Dong learned afterwards that a group of people had wanted to kidnap him, but they had kidnapped a "brother who helped him run errands" by mistake and demanded 20 US dollars. Police in Istanbul rescued him.
Lin Donghou was afraid. He began to realize that it was very dangerous to carry too much money without any original connection with the local area.
"I felt very dangerous that night. There was a group of people staring at me in the hotel where I was staying." The strong red flag made Lin Dong start looking for bodyguards overnight. The employment process is to pay a deposit first, which is US$XNUMX or XNUMX. "Later he came and I felt safe. He was born as a mercenary with a size of XNUMX meters, tall and strong."
The security issue is resolved, and more variables are still waiting for him.
The filming node of "Mask Hunter" happened to record the eve of the global epidemic, and Lin Dong's main purchase materials in Turkey also changed from masks to meltblown cloth.
"In mid-March, China began to stabilize, and there were multiple outbreaks around the world. We have to decide." The large-scale expansion of mask production and the huge vacancy of meltblown cloth made Lin Dong see the market trend. The spray cloth is flocking to China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Europe, (melt blown cloth) is too tight."
When buying meltblown cloth in Turkey, Lin Dong bumped into walls everywhere, and it was hard to find goods, people, and factories.
The price of melt blown cloth in Turkey has soared. Lin Dong recalled that in the "black market" in Turkey in March and April, the melt blown cloth rose from 2 to 90 per ton before, and there was an endless stream of demanders. The foreign exchange settlement is 7.2, and it is about 6.44 in the near future. "You count how many points are lost in the middle. Just in and out of exchange will lose a lot."
But in the situation at that time, melt blown cloth became the most important thing, and the priority of exchange loss and transaction risk had to go backwards.
Lost 8000 million
While Lin Dong was struggling to find melt blown cloth overseas, the domestic market was also eagerly looking to solve the problem of insufficient melt blown cloth production capacity as quickly as possible.
Meltblown cloth is also known as the "heart of the mask". It uses a high-melt index polypropylene as a material. It uses fibers that are only one-thirtieth of the diameter of the hair to be laminated into a film in random directions to filter bacteria. , The effect of preventing the spread of the virus.
On July 2020, 7, Lin Dong returned home.The high-priced melt blown cloth order he signed earlier in Turkey has become a hot potato. A Shandong buyer refused to acknowledge the eligibility of this batch of melt blown cloth.
Lin Dong introduced that during the purchase of materials abroad, the inspection report will be issued to the domestic buyers before signing the contract, and the payment can be signed after being qualified.The inspection report and data parameters of this 8000 million yuan meltblown cloth order were confirmed by the buyer before the order was placed. "The goods were sent back and the domestic price plummeted. He said that the data I measured did not meet the standard."
On July 7, Lin Dong went to Shandong to solve the order problem and was arrested by the Dongying Port Economic Development Zone Bureau of Dongying City Public Security Bureau in Shandong Province in a "contract fraud case".
The "Residence Surveillance Decision" states that the Dongying Port Economic Development Zone Bureau is investigating the case of Shandong Yabang Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. being contracted by contract fraud. Due to the conditions for arrest, the special circumstances of the case, or the need to handle the case, Lin Dong is under residential surveillance Measures.
Lin Dong needs to bear all the objective factors such as the time difference and time-space difference during the change of the epidemic, and "compensate" 8000 million to regain his personal freedom.This allowed him to be trapped in one place for a long time after being trapped in Turkey due to the epidemic.
"Compared with a long lawsuit with them, it is more important to quickly come out and make money." On December 12, Lin Dong took out 31 million cash and 2000 million guarantee and left Shandong.
At this time, the epidemic situation abroad is fierce, and China has become a major exporter of global medical protection supplies.
The masks that Lin Dong had not been able to return home due to the stable epidemic situation have once again become hard currency. He bought more than XNUMX million masks in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries at the beginning of the year. In fact, only tens of millions were shipped back to China, more than XNUMX million. They were forced to hoard them in warehouses of various countries and were "digested on the spot" by Lin Dong. The meltblown cloth that had been shipped back to China was made into masks and sent to all over the world.
"Is it funny? I later helped Jinfa to export 10 tons of meltblown cloth to Turkey in October and November." Lin Dong described his relationship with Jinfa Science and Technology as "love and killing each other", and Jinfa's rapid expansion of production The melt blown cloth purchased by Lin Dong abroad has become a hot potato, and the stability of the domestic epidemic and the outbreak of the foreign epidemic have also made Jin Jin deadlocked.
Lin Dong and Jinfa are the epitome of private enterprises that were precarious in the epidemic.
"Do more business with fewer people"
In just six months, the situation at home and abroad has been reversed, but the "war situation" has become clearer.
For Lin Dong, he still has the advantage at this time-the large-scale expansion of the domestic medical asset industry and the stability of the domestic epidemic make domestic companies need people who understand foreign markets and have foreign trade experience.
Lin Dong's accumulated trade resources in Turkey and other countries came in handy.
"Some of the masks bought at the beginning of the year were not economical to be shipped back to the country, so we donated them to embassies of various countries in Turkey." At that time, the domestic and international situation was changing rapidly, and he had to urgently find a solution.Lin Dong said frankly that he wanted to reach out to other domestic medical supplies sales channels by donating to the embassy. "There are many options for doing business. What I want to do is to create this interactive relationship."
At the same time, the broadcast of "Mask Hunter" also gave Lin Dong a small reputation in the industry, and his reputation can attract business.
"Business simply means buying and selling, but the focus is on whom to do business with." Lin Dong's business has improved significantly this year. During the visit, his schedule was very full, and he had discussions with different business partners almost every day. Cooperation, often in several cities a day, phone calls often come in uninterrupted.
"(Business) In the process of doing business, partners will appear. For example, if you have goods, there will be reliable or unreliable people coming to you. After you measure it, you can collect the money." Lin Dong insisted Do more business with fewer people.
Kingfa Technology has become his important partner after returning to China.During interviews, Lin Dong often expressed emotion that the blonde was "put in the hand", and he had "the other side sits at the bank and I sit idle" and almost failed miserably.
All businessmen are betting.
"When it comes to melt blown cloth, Jin Hua has the most say. They quickly developed the raw material for melt blown cloth-melt blown material. When hundreds of melt blown machines were started, the output of melt blown cloth was like an atomic warhead. Expansion quickly." Lin Dong said.
"On the XNUMXth of the Chinese New Year, Fafa became the first batch of enterprises to be listed on the epidemic prevention production list by the Joint Office of Joint Defense of Guangdong Province, requiring us to make epidemic prevention materials." Fafa Science and Technology Chairman Yuan Zhimin told China News Weekly that Fafa used to be medical protective clothing materials. However, because of the particularity of this industry, this business has not been the focus of the group for many years.
"The medical material market was originally very small. In the past, the production capacity of 60 billion masks in the country was only a year." On the sixth day of the new year, Kingfa organized technicians to come back to study the process, formula, and production process. Kingfa Guangzhou South China Company took the lead in resuming work and production.
After the melt blown material technology was overcome, Fafa received orders for more than XNUMX tons of melt blown materials.
"Later, I said that the non-woven fabric was not enough, and Jin Jin bought back the product line from overseas in ten days." Yuan Zhimin clearly remembered the explosive chaos in the market at that time. Some meltblown fabrics were fired to XNUMX tons, and some Was fired to seven or eighty thousand tons.
The business of medical supplies has become the mainstream this year. After the self-produced and sold meltblown cloth, the production line of masks began to be laid.
“In one month, we formed 400 mask production lines, which can provide 3000 million masks to the market a day. By the end of April, there were a large number of orders from Europe and the United States.” Yuan Zhimin recalled.
"In March, it was not the Chinese who wanted to go abroad to find masks, but the overseas people who came to China to find masks." The epidemic brought opportunities to domestic companies.Yuan Zhimin said, if it were not for this year's situation, how many years would it take for domestic medical brands to gain international recognition, "This is an accelerator, and we don't want to treat it as a short-term business."
Become the center of the whirlpool
Doing business depends on the "wind direction."
The business of medical supplies has become the "most profitable" business with the fastest cash flow. "Mask Hunter" made Lin Dong famous and also made him a target of capital pursuit.
Lin Dong bluntly said that after gaining popularity, he has gained tangible benefits, and a lot of foreshadowing and non-necessary distance in doing business have been lost.
A few years ago, Lin Dong wanted to buy some pharmaceutical factories and factories. He didn't want to be called a "second dealer", but many of his ideas and plans could not be put into practice.
"If we want to do something with a value of 10 billion, or even an output value of more than 100 billion, then cooperation is indispensable." Lin Dong said.
In the whirlpool centered on Lin Dong, those who approach him and those who invest in him are accelerating the scrolling of the whirlpool, with both energy and destructive power, and the global epidemic is helping all of this.
"They think I'm making quick money, at least much faster than their industry." Capital flocked to Lin Dong, and the medical asset industry became the fastest return and most cost-effective investment in the eyes of businessmen. Some real estate developers and investors hope Put the liquidity in his hand in Lin Dong's business "money makes money".
He realized that the active and massive entry of foreign capital has caused the rapid expansion of the medical supplies industry, which brings risks.At the center of the whirlpool, Lin Dong’s most intuitive feeling is that there are more and more cross-industry people. He believes that the typical feature of disorderly expansion in a field is that the main participants are not people in the industry. "In the past, our partners were in the medical industry, but now there are in various industries. People in this industry will be more conservative."
Lin Dong is planning to improve his own business system: through funding and channels, to aggregate suppliers and sales.
"The mask industry used to be less than 100 billion in output value in the world, and gloves used to be sold for only one or two cents a pair." Lin Dong said frankly, chaos arose under the whirlpool.The source of customers and the continuity of transactions determine that some people need to withdraw funds quickly and want to sell at a high price. The easiest way is to transfer to the next home.These people started to reverse their hands from the first-tier distributors, and passed on layer by layer. Some of the materials in the epidemic became such a passing game.
"With the blessing of capital, many people do not simply want to do business."
Lin Dong is no longer willing to accept short-term orders, "1000 million is already a small business. From our current industrial structure, I can't deliver it." He explained that small businesses have short delivery times and high risks. , "The money is either lost or cheated."
Based on experience, Lin Dong realized that long-term orders require an irrevocable letter of credit due to the long cycle, and the money is placed in Citibank. No matter what happens in the future, the order will be difficult to lie.
"But if you do a small business with an ordinary scalper, there is a lot of room for him to shame."
Merchant or gambler
Outside the scope of human control, there are more variables in the epidemic material business.
In early January 2021, Nangong City, Xingtai City, Hebei Province, saw new local confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia and asymptomatic infections, and Lin Dong's mask factory was in Nangong City.
"In the past, we hardly considered a clause behind the contract, that is, what happens to the so-called natural disaster. Now this is a key consideration." Lin Dong's factory in Nangong was unable to deliver large quantities of goods due to the epidemic.
The "New Crown Clause" has become a key clause of current worldwide trade. Lin Dong's domestic contracts and foreign trade will be discussed repeatedly with partners on the terms of the new crown. If the production of the new crown is discontinued, what is the responsibility?Is it a natural disaster or is the responsibility shared by both parties?How to share the proportion of responsibilities?Should it be replaced by a new factory or continue to supply by other means?
"The probability of this happening in the past was too small, and now this ratio is 50%." The center of the Hebei epidemic occurred in Nangong City, adding to Lin Dong's "magic life", which is now the main force for international trade. As far as the epidemic material business is concerned, the new crown epidemic coexists with it.
A year later, Lin Dong had a different understanding of the identity of the businessman.
Before the interview, Lin Dong introduced his previous identity as an entrepreneur—to obtain financing through PPT to investors, and then to try in the field of commercial Internet—the field is "Internet hospital", allowing people to stay at home. Can see a doctor online. In 9 years of attempts, Lin Dong has repeatedly failed.
"If it weren't for this epidemic, I don't know what I would be like now. I should still be a well-behaved entrepreneur."
After a year of rushing to the epidemic material business, Lin Dong became the one who stayed.At the end of the year, Lin Dong signed 60 billion orders for overseas exports, and his "big test" scored points.
In subsequent follow-up visits, Lin Dong's status has changed a lot from before. He feels that he should be a real businessman now.
In Lin Dong's hometown of Zhanjiang, Guangdong, the gambling culture "sinks" to every village.When Lin Dong was very young, he used his tuition and pocket money to gamble at the casino in the village. Sometimes he won a lot and sometimes lost his tuition.
Lin Dong is not very clear about the boundary between merchants and gamblers.The black swan incident made him get out of the established track that he could see, and his past accumulation and gambling banditry made him change his course in the tide of the times.
Famous, trapped, "gambling", gains and losses, Lin Dong's experience cannot be replicated.
At the end of "Mask Hunter", Lin Dong answered "moral questions" about the business of epidemic supplies.At that time, he said that the Chinese have no problem doing this business. As long as they use compliant trading methods in international trade, business is business.
At that time, it was still the initial stage of the new crown epidemic, and he seemed out of place among the many mainstream epidemic-related figures.
One year later, to answer this question again, Lin Dong said, "I don't want the world to become worse, so my business is better. I hope the world is better, and we all trade in a normal order."
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