Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals is a trans-stellar medical research and pharmaceutical conglomerate with origins on 21st century Earth. They are responsible for the invention of modern cloning techniques, and have a hand in almost every form of medicine throughout the Orion Spur. Zeng-Hu has a unique internal structure referred to as the keiretsu by its employees: while officially known as a megacorporation Zeng-Hu is in reality made up of dozens of specialized medical corporations which build off of their mutual success, creating a structure most similar to a cartel.
The organization that would go on to become Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals in 2132 was born from the merging of nearly a dozen companies on Earth in the year 2032, creating a complete stranglehold over the medical field while avoiding traditional anti-trust laws. The keiretsu pioneered the way in the field of cryonics and cryogenics, manufacturing the first truly viable "cryopod" designed to safely house a human being during long-distance space travel. This proved instrumental during the colonization efforts of Mars and Luna, and would be used during further colonization efforts in the Solar System prior to the advent of widely-available warp travel. However, the success and profits the keiretsu derived from colonization was relatively short-lived, as the economic hardships of the mid-22nd century combined with the advent of proper warp travel -- which greatly reduced the need for their cryogenic storage units -- in 2130 hit the conglomerate hard. The hardships of the 2130s would shortly result in the formal founding of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals in 2132, in an effort to stay profitable and keep component companies from being bankrupted and bought out by competitors. While never completely disappearing, it was overshadowed by the rise of other corporations edging in on the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Zeng-Hu stayed in the background for years, though their continual innovations and unique internal structure allowed them to stay competitive if mostly out of the eye of the public.
It wasn't until the year 2332, when the Skrell were first encountered, that it was well and truly thrust back into the limelight. As with many other companies jockeying for positions from which they could benefit from the advanced technology of the Skrell, Zeng-Hu sent representatives to try and convince Skrellian scientists to establish joint cooperative research teams with their own scientists. However, unlike with the other corporations, whom most of the scientific community of the Skrell perceived as simply greedy, they were truly impressed by the vision and drive shown by the CEO Vanas Peng and his board of directors. After three years of cooperative research, the first viable example of limb cloning technology was created.
Zeng-Hu was quick to patent the techniques and equipment and continued to advance in the newly created field of organ and limb cloning. While cloning technology was highly controversial when first introduced, it has since become an accepted and even promoted part of Human and Skrellian society. Attempts to bring it beyond the borders of these two species have not yet been widely pursued, with few in the keiretsu viewing such efforts as likely to be profitable or successful.
Due to its collaboration with the Skrell and success in the biotechnical field of limb cloning, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals is now among the most powerful trans-stellar corporations present in the galaxy in the modern-day despite its unusual structure. As its main competitor in the medical field, the NanoTrasen Corporation, continues to bleed profits due to the phoron shortage, Zeng-Hu has risen to fill much of what NanoTrasen left behind in the medical field. But despite the profits -- and influence -- it has gained from filling the market holes left by NanoTrasen the keiretsu has not ceased working alongside NanoTrasen, and many of their mutually beneficial research and commerce agreements have remained intact. Thus it did not surprise many economists to see that the keiretsu had opted to join with NanoTrasen in the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate, though some believe that the keiretsu is more interested with their own bottom lines than with whatever mission the ever-mysterious "Chainlink" may be dedicated to.
As the foremost medical service in the galaxy, overshadowing the former monopoly NanoTrasen once had over the speciality, Zeng-Hu's influence is immense. Their responsibility extends to the health and well-being of almost all citizens of the major galactic powers, with its constituent corporations delving into the pedantic of healthcare across the Orion Spur.
Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, and the majority of its minor subsidiaries, are professional science at its core. The public-facing sections of the megacorporation operate one of the larger public relations departments in the galaxy, a necessity for something as controversial as the primary healthcare provider. This reflects on employees as their workforce is encouraged to be plotting and outright secretive. In addition, the openly declared pursuit of Zeng-Hu has been the perfection of the sentient form and rapidly progressing what could be construed as the "expected evolution" of Humanity. The details of the future of this expectation are unfortunately classified, and guesses as to what the corporation plans are varied — from grounded to completely ridiculous conspiracies.
Commercial contracting with Zeng-Hu is a cut-throat, careless business where decisions from completely untraceable elements within the corporation drift down to the lower ranks, usually deciding the course of lives. Workers take pride in their own capability to dodge the unknowable forces above, inadvertently, and the ideology has ended up fostering one of two things; either fear for one’s superiors or a dangerous lack of care. The latter in this environment rarely ends well.
Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals rarely works alongside Zavodskoi contractors, and intentionally so. The two corporations frequently butt heads after Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals left Zavodskoi genetics research in the dust, with the relation between the two sours at best. This echoes down to the lowest ranks, as even the common worker can find themselves cheered on to beat the opposition. This isn’t an excuse to get fired by trashing your coworker.
Augmentation and Veterancy
Driven by a mad desire to reach perfection, the genetic and prosthetic modification of Zeng-Hu employees is prolific. High-ranking executives often loan prosthetics, augmentation and direct tickets to genemodding down to skilled subordinates, who in turn employ similar practices to their own. All the way down to the very field medics of Zeng-Hu echo a similar sentiment ; progressing in the company further perfects one’s form. Veterans can receive higher-end, more vast augmentation that broadly encompasses the body, though there are countless who opt to avoid these options.
Augments to enhance one’s work are the most common choices here, providing a unique edge to an extremely competitive medical scene. Genetic modification, due to its expensive nature, remains uncommon, but many find themselves allured to the opportunities Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals has to gamble for this.
These cases obviously have their downside where more expensive prosthesis, modding and whatnot are concerned. In these implements there are typically forms of tracking devices, ingrained serial numbers, limited licenses or some other binding force that marks it as property of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals. Exclusive prosthetics utilized by the company’s employees very commonly have these.
The reality of these measures result in heavily regulated augments - the more grim ones capable of being remotely controlled or even disabled by company officials freely. The exclusivity of these items are amplified further by Zeng-Hu’s ability to retract their loan - and ultimately reclaim possession of them for any reason. Authentic Zeng-Hu prostheses do have their benefits, as one is able to pursue various options that disability or plain Human inefficiency would never permit. From amplifying surgical precision to enhancing one’s endurance, there is a case for anything here.
Positronics and Zeng-hu Pharmaceuticals
As the foremost company in the medical robotics and pharmaceutical industry, Zeng-hu Pharmaceuticals manufactures and employs a larger than average synthetic workforce. Aside from employing the machines in crucial and labor-saving roles, the corporation enjoys flaunting its latest models to the public, in effect using them as show dogs. IPCs which draw the eye of company managers and executives tend to be plucked from the ranks and elevated to positions of greater responsibility or authority.
The company's treatment of IPCs is comparatively more egalitarian and less brutal. An overwhelming emphasis on perfection and unwavering quality is placed on the machines.
Zeng-hu company projects often vary and as a result their dedicated synthetic workforce do not possess a standardized naming convention.
Current CEO: Liqin Hsiao-Li
Reputed as one of the smartest living humans in the Spur, the venerable Liqin Hsiao-Li earned two degrees by age thirty and was picked for chief executive officer of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals on what many consider to be her own merits, rather than her family connections. Her long standing research work within the Nralakk Federation means the keiretsu has developed a special relationship with the Skrell of the Orion Spur, and Hsiao-Li is an honored guest within the Federation itself. Under Hsiao-Li, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals has expanded genetics operations across the galaxy, and made the keiretsu synonymous with medical care.
Hsiao-Li herself is reputed to be an incredibly exacting, intense personality, with no room in her mind for failure or under-performance. She is also said to reward success in equal and opposite measure, and has perpetually conducted herself with politeness and dignity.
Official Title(s): Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, Zeng-Hu Medical Corporation, Zeng-Hu Corporate Conglomerate
Motto: Building a brighter future.
Headquarters: Quarter 46, Eridani I, Epsilon Eridani
Official Languages: Tradeband, Tau Ceti Basic, Sol Common, Terran Mandarin
Primary Color Scheme: Purple, white, and pink
Executives and Branches
Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals is run by the Board of Directors, lead by Chairman and President Hou Hsiao-Li and appointed by the constituent corporations making up Zeng-Hu's web of businesses. The Board oversees the general function of the entire keiretsu, with constituent boards managing their own corporations more directly.
Vice President: Rochelle Mohi, 74, Human
Like much of the keiretsu's highest-echelon staff, Doctor Mohi was born into a wealthy family of medical professionals on Luna and received only the finest of medical educations available in the Sol Alliance. Doctor Mohi is widely known throughout the keiretsu for both her rivalry with Doctor Cho, Zeng-Hu's chief medical officer, and her longstanding friendship with Doctor Hsiao-Li, who recruited the young Mohi for Zeng-Hu almost fifty years ago. Prior to rising to the position of vice president she served as the operations officer for the Eridanian Branch, and is responsible for much of Zeng-Hu's operations on the planet of Eridani III - though she has always denied involvement in the keiretsu's rumored black sites on the planet. In addition to her position as VP, Doctor Mohi is a widely-published researcher in the field of neuroscience.
Chief Medical Officer: Fukumi Cho, 82, Human
A Lunarian from Hangzhou, Doctor Cho is -- to many inside and outside of the keiretsu -- the prime example of what every Zeng-Hu employee or contractor should strive to be. Over her sixty years in the keiretsu she has risen from a mere critical care surgeon to the position of chief medical officer, making her one of the most important people in the Orion Spur's medical community. These sixty years have, for better or worse, made her an obsessively perfectionistic woman that refuses to accept anything but the highest possible standards and the best equipment for the constituent companies under the umbrella of the Zeng-Hu keiretsu. This has made invaluable to Doctor Hsiao-Li, herself an infamous perfectionist. Doctor Cho is widely known for her rivalry, and occasional feuds, with fellow neuroscientist and fellow board member Rochelle Mohi, with both neurosurgeons constantly attempting to outdo one another in medical journals.
Chief Research Officer: Yuko Murakami Haya, 82, Human
The self-styled "Y.M. Haya" is, unlike many of his counterparts on the board, an Earther rather than a Lunarian. While many of his colleagues are specialized into more conventional forms of medicine, Dr. Haya has spent his entire life in medical research rather than in its day-to-day application in a hospital's rooms. His research was critical in the advent of modern cloning technologies pioneered by Zeng-Hu's keiretsu, and resulted in embryonic cloning breakthroughs that secured Yomi Genetics as one of the keiretsu's most important constituent corporations. Dr. Haya has recently taken a deep interest in the keiretsu's Coalition of Colonies branch situated near Light's Edge, and is known for his belief that the next big medical discoveries of humanity may lie outside of currently charted space.
Though their headquarters are on Biesel, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals can be found throughout many areas in human space. Here are the locations of their primary and largest branches.
Shanghai, China, Earth, Sol: The headquarters of the keiretsu oversees most of Zeng-Hu’s activity in the Sol Alliance. With nearly twice the amount of workers as the second-most staffed headquarters, the Solarian Branch is an incredibly lively, bustling place. The Board of Directors are housed in the upper floors, with the highest levels being for corporate activity. Only the best and brightest of the keiretsu are afforded the privilege of working in the Sol System branch, with some speculating that Doctor Hsiao-Li herself must sign off on transfers to this branch.
Quarter 46, Eridani I, Epsilon Eridani: The headquarters of the Eridani Branch of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals can be found on Eridani I. The skyscraper is notable for being decorated in an interesting mix of traditional Terran Chinese and corporate Eridanian styles. Most facilities on Eridani III are managed from this facility, and many employees of the keiretsu pass through this office at one point in their careers. Little research is officially carried out in the Eridani I complex, and much of the Eridanian Branch's less pleasant activites are instead carried out far from the public eye in the urban maze of labs and research complexes on Eridani III.
Mendell City, Biesel, Tau Ceti: The Mendell City branch can be found in Xinghua Prefecture, standing tall among the surrounding complexes. Security is incredibly tight in Mendell City, though officials refuse to directly answer why.
Triesto, the Republic of Assunzione, the Coalition of Colonies: The Coalition Branch -- or Frontier Branch -- of the keiretsu is one of its smaller branches, and the furthest branch away from company headquarters on Earth in terms of distance. The Coalition Branch is primary concerned with researching and investigating the phenomenon in Light's Edge, and is primarily staffed by native citizens of Assunzionii that follow the local religion of Luceism. The branch's headquarters in Triesto is built in much the same manner as a traditional Luceian cathedral, and is well-known for this unusual design.
Sahina, Aemaq, the Republic of Elyra: The "Aemaq Branch" of the keiretsu has long been regarded as the smallest and least productive of Zeng-Hu's branches due to Elyra's longstanding restrictions on megacorporate activity, the presence of powerful local corporations that compete directly with the Branch, and a lack of goodwill towards the Branch's activities on the planet itself. Despite its lack of noteworthy success Doctor Hsiao-Li and Zeng-Hu have kept the operation afloat, and it is a common rumor in Zeng-Hu's many constituent corporations that the Aemaqii facility simply exists as a "dumping ground" for employees that under-perform or otherwise displease the keiretsu. The facilities on Aemaq are under the control of the Elyran Branch.
Bishop Cybernetics is a relatively young subsidiary of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, founded on Biesel in April of 2418. They specialize in innovations in biomechanical engineering with a focus on prosthetics and mechanical organs.
Epsilon Eridani: Four major equipment manufacturing facilities on Eridani I.
Chief Executive Officer: Grant Bishop, 62, Human
Chief Engineering Officer: Maali Islamova, 57, Human
Chief Research Officer: Maxim Pangan-Roces, 58, Human
Chief Information Officer: Kareena Mayadev-Calli, 49, Human
Chief Design Officer: Youa Mo Xvooj-Hayashi, 45, Human
Bishop Cybernetics was founded on Biesel by Grant Bishop and Owen Harrison. Both had dropped out of study at the Biesel Institute of Robotics to focus on business. Even though prosthetics wasn't a new field by any means, and it was mostly dominated by giants like Zeng-Hu and Hephaestus, Bishop felt there was room for innovation.
Bishop and Harrison both worked out of Bishop's personal pod bay for their first year, working to improve on the existing design for a mechanical prosthetic hand. They unveiled this new design at the annual Mendell City Innovation Conference and caught the attention of several investors with their flashy, sleek design with an integrated holo-watch, communications center, and patented user interface with a haptic feedback enabled holographic display. Most notable about this first design was the fact its power draw was no greater than other designs already out there, despite running several different accessory modules.
After a wildly successful campaign spanning over ten years showcasing every iteration of their new prosthetics at every opportunity, Bishop Cybernetics opened their first major manufacturing facility on Isis in 2430. This drastically reduced the costs associated with production and allowed Bishop Cybernetics to become even more profitable. The high-energy Grant Bishop still attends conferences and events, giving speeches and demonstrations, and often makes a point to show off his own prosthetic arms and eyes, which he has linked to his own home devices including his thermostat, doors, electrochromic windows and microwave. In 2456, Bishop suffered from heart failure, and underwent an operation to have a Bishop Cybernetics mechanical heart installed. He has since claimed to be "synthetic at heart", coming back from the operation to announce a new division of Bishop Cybernetics focusing on synthetic intelligence research.
Bishop Cybernetics' focus on power efficiency, luxury, and innovation meant its niche market was composed mostly of technological enthusiasts and a number of transhumanist fanatics. This is, of course, not without controversy, especially among more traditionally-minded consumers skeptical of the radical ideas usually pushed by Bishop Cybernetics. The heavy regulation of prosthetic devices often means the most attention-grabbing products are meant for headlines only, kept behind red tape to never leave the showroom. Uncomfortable with Bishop's direction, Owen Harrison officially resigned from the company in December 2458.
The continued growth of Bishop Cybernetics has proven without a doubt that there is a small, but lucrative market for these big ideas and the controversy often stirred with Bishop's ideals has ensured they have a place in headlines on a yearly basis.
During the last conference held during a conference on Biesel in August 2459, Bishop shared the stage with a state-of-the-art IPC designated "Axiom". This IPC's frame was entirely by Bishop, with a glass-encased hologram display for a face and a claimed internal battery life lasting for up to three weeks on standby. It isn't known when, or even if, this model will ever be approved for production.
Jeonshi Biotech Incorporated
"Foremost among flowers."
Jeonshi Biotech is a major member of the Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals keiretsu, founded on Earth in October of 2289. They specialize in the creation and design of mechanical and biological augments for both humans and common positronic frames such as the famous Zeng-Hu Mobility Frame.
Epsilon Eridani: Two major manufacturing facilities on Eridani II.
Chief Executive Officer: Yunji Kyong, 76, Human
Chief Research Officer: Ju Li, 18, Postronic Shell Frame
Chief Data Officer: Songho Sam, 57, Human
Chief Communications Officer: Biyu Tian-Kim, 46, Human
Chief Commercial Officer: Kaya Kinjo-Song, 51, Human
Founded by a collection of cutting-edge Chinese and Japanese robotics companies in 2289, Jeonshi Biotech quickly established itself as a leader in the biotech industry on Earth and joined the Zeng-Hu conglomerate in 2302. The corporation has maintained its cutting edge in bio-technology ever since, despite rumors regarding unethical experimentation in order to create more effective augmentations. Most attribute these rumors to Zavodskoi Interstellar, Jeonshi Biotech's main competitor in the field of military-grade augmentations.
Jeonshi Biotech was, despite its Solarian roots, one of the first major corporations to look upon modern positronics as more than cheap labor. Synthetic employees — and property — of Jeonshi are treated much better than most others, to the point where they are capable of rising to the board of directors if they are competent and lucky enough. CRO Ju Li (previously Zeng-Hu Research Android Ju-010892), a shell, is held up by the corporation as an example of how high a positronic can rise in Jeonshi Biotech.
Yomi Genetics Innovation and Research
"The spider lily blooms."
Yomi Genetics I&R is a constituent corporation of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, founded on Earth in 2306. They are known for their cutting-edge genetics research, and their close relationship with the Nralakk Federation.
President: Miho Kumagai-Wan, 85, Human
Deputy President: Xinyi Huang, 71, Human
General Manager: Kotaro Tamaki, 59, Human
Chief Research Officer: Jong-Su Chun-Gao, 64, Human
Chief Development Officer: Mineko Makino-Min, 55, Human
Originally established in 2306 by several leading geneticists, Yomi Genetics is one of the later members to join Zeng-Hu's massive conglomerate and join the keiretsu in 2311 in order to acquire more funding for its mostly-theoretical research into genetics. The corporation started off as a small and mostly research-oriented member of the Zeng-Hu conglomerate with very few practical products until first contact with the skrell was established. The resulting genetics boom caused a golden age for corporation, and has seen it on the cutting edge of genetics research ever since.
As a result of their place on the forefront of genetics research Yomi maintains the largest gene bank in the Orion Spur, for both research and business purposes. Yomi is additionally responsible for much of the research that led to the invention and creation of modern limb cloning techniques. However, due to the prohibitively expensive cost of cloning, the corporation does not consider it a priority for research - instead it has opted to focus upon the practicality of vat-grown limbs as a commercial product. How this development will impact the future of the medical field remains to be seen.
Relations with Trans-stellar Factions
Relations with all corporations are heavily tied to every echelon of even the most detached factions in the Orion Spur. As the corporations have seeped into every facet of one’s livelihood as far as the eye can see, few find it unimportant to maintain some degree of knowledge on the megacorps.
This megacorporation’s noteworthy relations with the major powers are below, and may be very important to you.
The Nralakk Federation sports quite a close relationship with Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals; able to be traced back all the way to the discovery of humanity in 2332 CE. First Contact allowed for numerous boons, largely thanks to the advanced technological prowess wielded by the Nralakk Federation. Relations between the two continued to foster into an alliance of sorts, mostly working together in order to uncover technological advances. Through the last 131 years, the Nralakk Federation has allowed only Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals to establish themselves within their borders, a symbol of their trust in the keiretsu to keep the skrellian way of life intact.
The Nralakk Resistance
The Resistance owes quite a bit of their success to Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals; mostly in regards to being able to access technology outlawed within the Nralakk Federation, combined with the availability of numerous augments and prosthetics. Whilst each subfaction of the Resistance has alternating views of the keiretsu, it mostly boils down to somewhat cordial relations. The keiretsu manages to avoid any attacks on their freighters, and the Resistance is allowed to embellish themselves with the resources offered by the keiretsu. It’s a win-win for both sides.
The Solarian Alliance
The wave of nationalization enacted by the Solarian Corporate Authority (SCA) following the Solarian Collapse of 2462 has greatly changed the relationship between the Alliance and Zeng-Hu. While Zeng-Hu continues to operate in many areas of Sol -- particularly on Europa, Earth, and Luna -- its influence in the Alliance's remaining territories has been been diminished by the loss of 51% of its assets to the SCA. Much of the megacorporation's assets in the Human Wildlands, such as facilities on Visegrad, are considered to be lost causes by the keiretsu. Despite these losses Zeng-Hu has continued to conduct business throughout the Alliance's remaining territory, and many Solarians view it favorably due to the lifesaving medical care it provides. The keiretsu, it seems, is not finished in the Alliance -- despite the SCA's best efforts to the contrary.