徐国正 (Xu Guozheng), also known as Papaya, is a project manager at MoYu. We sat down with him and talked about MoYu, his work life, and how he feels about cube design. Many thanks to our friend Jiayu Wang for connecting us.
This interview was translated from Chinese. Editor’s notes will occasionally be inserted to provide more context/information.
Q: Welcome to the interview! First, can you please introduce yourself?
A: My name is Xu Guozheng, 32 years old. I joined the MoYu Company as a designer when I was just 16. Now I am in charge of development and project management at MoYu.
Q: Cool! What was the first product you designed?
A: The first one was the original WeiLong GTS.
Q: Many 3BLD specialists really like that cube. We also like it a lot. How did it feel to design this exciting and successful product?
A: Many people liked the WeiLong GTS at the time of release. I was very happy, but I knew that there were still many areas to improve. I am always working hard to learn, accumulate design experience, and improve the production process.
Q: We’re curious, how did magnets affect your future designs?
A: After the original GTS, there was a second model, the GTS2M, which just happened to be in the development period of magnetic positioning. The early production stages were somewhat underdeveloped and there were many quality problems like falling magnets. Fortunately, the structure was optimized and magnet slots were added to improve quality. Before 2016, the development trend was to make corner cutting as liberal as possible. But, the greater the corner cutting, the less stability during rotation. This created deformation concerns. The addition of magnetic force made up for this problem. You can also do things like increase spring strength to address the deformation issue. However, that has a big impact on handfeel and can cause turning to be uncomfortable.
Q: Cool. Nowadays, what do you think is MoYu’s greatest strength?
A: MoYu is a particularly good platform – I feel she* can make my dreams come true. I’ve been cubing since 2008 and I fell in love instantly. I brought my cube around everywhere, even the bathroom (haha). But, the performance of cubes back then was not great. I made a wish for myself to be a speedcube designer. In addition to helping myself solve faster, there was a lot of focus on the structure.
The advantage of MoYu is her* platform. The company has many partners who are committed to MoYu like me. More importantly, there are more and more friends and fans of MoYu cubes. Your support is our biggest motivation.
*Editor’s note: Papaya used 她, a feminine pronoun to refer to the MoYu company, presumably to personify it while describing the company as nurturing.
Q: Yes, Moyu has indeed designed a lot of great products over the years. Do you still like to cube today? What is your personal record? Do you have a favorite event?
A: I still cube now, more than an hour every day. Although the time is kind of short, I can’t kick the habit. My favorite event is still the classic 3x3. I’m currently averaging around 10 seconds. It’s been so long since I’ve participated in a competition. I hope to attend another one soon.
Q: My average is about the same! If possible, can you tell us more about future Moyu products? Customers currently like RS 3 M Maglev and WeiLong Maglev very much. The performance is great and the price is very fair.
A: Later, MoYu will gradually update products that haven’t been updated in a long time. One example is a potential WeiLong Pyraminx. The RS series will also have surprise products. I am really confident in these upcoming products!
Q: Sounds great! We hope to try these new products someday. Here’s a more random question: in addition to cubing, do you have any other hobbies?
A: Mr. Chen* also asked me this question, and I’ve thought about it myself. I don’t know that, besides cubing, I can like other things. I actually don’t want to. I just want to grow with the cube. MoYu has never let me down, and I never want to let the company down. More importantly, I don’t wish to disappoint all the cubers and friends who use MoYu products. Although MoYu may have many shortcomings, we will always do our best.
*Editor’s note: Mr. Chen is the president and general manager of MoYu. You may have seen him on MoYu packaging!
Q: It sounds like you’re really committed to MoYu. We feel the same about our own company. Finally, do you have anything you’d like to say to the people who buy MoYu products? We have lots of MoYu fans in the United States.
A: I’ve been with MoYu for many years and my original intention hasn’t changed. I’m still extremely committed to MoYu. I hope MoYu can bring more surprises to fans and friends. This is what I’m after. MoYu’s growth needs everyone’s support. I promise she will not let you down!