There is a Chinese proverb called “rich but three generations”, which extends that it is easy to start a business but difficult to keep it. The first generation has worked hard to start a business and build a mountain, the second generation inherits the industry and may not be able to carry it forward, and the third generation may not even be able to eat the old capital, if they do nothing more they can only go into decline. This is not a truth, but many family industries can not escape this spell, in Hong Kong has a “king of karaoke” Neway (KTV industry) opened 30 years, for a royalty bill of $ 9,000 arrears for five years, now by the three major record companies in Hong Kong, to the court to apply for liquidation, is on the verge of closing down. Coincidentally, it is the second generation member of the Xue family, Xue Jialin, who has taken over Neway, and it seems that the magic spell of wealth cannot be fulfilled by three generations is being fulfilled by the Xue family.
There are two major KTV (commonly known as karaoke in the past) industries in Hong Kong, one is Neway and the other is California Red, Neway’s founder, Sit Ji-kit, opened the first Neway store in 1993 to formally develop the entertainment industry, and then began to share the world with California Red, and even caught up with California Red, and became the leading KTV venue in Hong Kong in just ten years, and later even intended to annex California Red. To annex California Red, in short, in the past is nearly thirty years, Hong Kong’s most famous, the most trendy KTV place is Neway belongs to, is absolutely the wind is unparalleled, dominant.
Neway in that year was able to seize the market in a short period of time and become the dominant market, there is the question of luck and opportunity. In that era, singing karaoke became the main way for young people to spend their time, and at that time, the Hong Kong pop music scene was in its golden age, exporting a large number of high-quality Cantonese songs, which became the mainstream of the Chinese market, so the market demand was high, which provided the time for Neway’s breakthrough. In addition, Hong Kong was hit by SARS in 2003, and Neway’s rival, California Red, was losing tens of millions of dollars a month during that period.
The rise of Neway has the factor of opportunity, but also the success of the founder, Jiejie Xue, the mastermind behind the scenes. It is proved that the success of any industry is inseparable from the shrewd decision making of the decision makers. When he was in power, he developed a diversified business line, offering various discounts for the young market, and at the same time setting up a high-end line for high-end people, becoming a pioneer in the market. One of the most powerful moves was to cooperate with the rival California Red, setting up a joint venture company, owning the karaoke rights together and sharing resources. In addition, he did everything himself, personally held training classes to train his staff, imported management concepts and corporate culture downwards, and equipped each top executive with a high-end cell phone so that they could contact him at any time, so during his “administration”, Neway’s development was booming, and at its peak, it was once going public and annexing California Red.
Sit Sai Hang and Fala Chen
Unfortunately, this situation of going public did not occur after all, when Xue Jijie intended to hand over the baton to his son, Neway has unknowingly gone downhill in the process of development later on, and now the industry is more likely to be cut off in the hands of the second generation. Xue Jiejie has two sons, both of whom are famous because they have been involved in the entertainment industry. The eldest son, Sit Sai Hang, married TVB actress Fala Chen, and the second son, Sit Ka Lun, married model Zhuge Ziqi. The important thing is that both sons were not able to make it, especially after the development of Neway entered its heyday, family trivialities and lace news affected the image of the industry, leading to “bad blood” within the family.
Sit Sai Hang
The news of Farrah Chen and Zhuge Ziqi competing for favor frequently made headlines on entertainment pages, causing the Xue family to lose face. Later on, Xue Jijie and his eldest son, Xue Shiheng, turned against each other, which also affected the development of the business. In 2009, he officially retired and passed the throne to his second son, Xue Jialin, who was no slouch either. He is more like a fun-loving rich kid who prefers to enjoy a rich life and is not interested in the management of Neway, and eventually Neway has developed to this situation.
Xue Jialin and Zhuge Ziqi
Neway once had an annual income of more than 1 billion yuan, but now it can’t even pay a 90 million dollar copyright debt bill, this is what is saddening. Poor management has become the biggest cause, because operators no longer focus on the model of exclusive audition of new songs, that is, no longer fight for copyright, living on old songs, it is difficult to attract people. In addition, with the decline of the Karaoke industry, the operators did not find ways to push the new, or the development of new industries, resulting in a decline in business. The social environment in Hong Kong and the impact of the epidemic in the past two years have caused business to shrink significantly. Since 2020, Neway has been repeatedly charged for rent, and the owner has been forced to repossess the stores by the court.
Now, it is difficult to support even basic operations and expenses, so how can Neway have the money to repay the $90 million in copyrights owed to the three major record companies in Hong Kong? In business, it is only right to pay back debts, and record companies will not have any compassion, not to mention that Neway has owed five years of debt. It is worth mentioning that Neway was reluctant to pay before because it had a dispute with the record company over royalties, and both sides argued with each other, which led to the default.
No one knows where Neway will go in the future. If it closes down, for the first and second youngest members of the Xue family, it may just be the end of an industry, but for the founder, Xue Jijie, his hard work has gone down the drain, and it is inevitable that he will be heartbroken, but even if he is resigned, what can he do? He is already old and has handed over the baton to the next generation, so he can only leave it to fate.