LeEco (Chinese: 乐视集团) is a Chinese conglomerate founded by Jia Yueting, the founder of Le.com (formerly LeTV). The group maintains businesses in video streaming, cloud services, software development, consumer electronics, such as smartphones, smart TVs, VR, electric bicycles, electric cars, film production and distribution, real estate, wine, retail, eCommerce, and other business. LeEco has expanded to countries outside of China, such as the United States,[2][3] India,[4] and Russia.[5]

Leshi Holding
Company typePrivate
Founded8 September 2011; 12 years ago (2011-09-08)
FounderJia Yueting
Area served
Worldwide (China, India, USA and Russia mainly)
ProductsAutomobiles, bicycles, mobile phones, televisions, film productions, virtual reality
BrandsLeMall.com, EcoPass

From late 2016 onward,[6][7] LeEco experienced financial limitations due to aggressive strategic expansion and difficulties in acquiring new funds. As of September 2018, LeEco has sold its remaining ownership of Leshi Zhixin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. and Le Vision Pictures to Sunac.[8] In October 2018, Le.com formally announced it is not for sale and is exploring solutions to address its financial issues.[9]

History edit

The predecessor of the diversified group, Letv (Chinese: 乐视视频; pinyin: lèshì shìpín; lit. 'Leshi Video'), was founded by Jia Yueting in Beijing in 2004 and was the first streaming video company in China to go public. Jia later founded Leshi Holding Beijing as a sister company of Letv to provide media content and products linked to its services, and use LeEco (Chinese: 乐视生态; pinyin: lèshì shēngtài; lit. 'Leshi Ecosystem') as the brand.

The Chinese company launched its video streaming service three years before Netflix—and it had started producing its own original content well before the arrival of the seminal Netflix series House of Cards.[10]

In 2014, LeEco aggregate sales amounted to approximately US$1.6 billion. At the end of 2014, LeEco announced its Super Electric Ecosystem (SEE) Project — the company's first foray into automobiles.[citation needed]

In 2014, Le Vision Pictures, a subsidiary of LeEco, opened an office in West Los Angeles to build closer ties with filmmakers and to expand other lines of business, including eCommerce, large-screen TVs, smartphones, and electric cars.[11]

In April 2015, Letv established its first US headquarters in Redwood City to build up its presence in Silicon Valley, and it announced opening another office in Los Angeles in the near future.[12]

In 2015, LeEco introduced three models of its first-generation smartphone, the Le Superphone, in China. LeEco sold over 1 million Le Superphones within three months, and its online sales have topped Apple and Samsung in China.[13] LeEco was also the first smartphone manufacturer to release its bill of materials worldwide.

In Jan 2016, both Letv services and electronics products that were previously marketed internationally under the Letv name were re-labeled under LeEco, when media services began under Le.com.

In Feb 2016, LeEco unofficially opened a new office in San Jose and began aggressively acquiring new talents from Silicon Valley's workforce.

In April, LeEco officially held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and press conference to formally establish its new, 80,000-square-foot North American headquarters in San Jose, which can hold up to 800 people. Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Luo Linquan, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and LeEco senior leadership spoke with the media and gave attendees a look into LeEco's full ecosystem of content, platforms, and, devices.[14]

In May 2016, LeEco's San Jose office hit a headcount of about 300 and continued to acquire more talents. In the same month, staff from the Redwood City office moved to the San Jose office.

In July 2016, it was announced that LeEco would acquire American television manufacturer Vizio for $2 billion. Vizio was to be operated as an independent subsidiary in southern California, while Vizio's Inscape Data Services was going to be spun out into a privately held company.[15]

On October 19, 2016, LeEco officially launched in the US at a debut event code-named "Big Bang" which was held in Innovation Hangar, San Francisco. The company unveiled its new flagship Le Pro 3, Le S3, and EcoTVs.[16]

In November 2016, LeEco officially expanded into the US market, beginning sales of mobile phones, televisions, headphones, and eventually "smart bicycles" on its privately owned marketplace LeMall (Chinese: 乐视商城; pinyin: lèshì shāngchéng).[17]

On 6 November 2016, CEO Jia Yuetin sent an internal letter to employees in hopes to make transparency and calming rumors, stating "We blindly sped ahead, and our cash demand ballooned. We got over-extended in our global strategy. At the same time, our capital and resources were in fact limited."[18] He plans to invest US$10 million and reduce his base salary to US$0.15 in order to allow the company to expand into the United States.[19][20] These issues within the company included cutting 10% of its workforce and considering selling non-core business units such as LeSEE and real estate ventures.[21]

On 23 November 2016, Compal Electronics confirmed that LeEco failed to pay a debt of NT$ 4.25 billion, which was rescheduled and paid in time.[22]

In late November 2016, a town hall meeting was held at the Silicon Valley headquarters with executives addressing concerns in response to its recent negative press coverage and company status. Executives told employees that the media was misreporting the story and that this was just "YT being YT". Employees were assured that there will be no layoffs and were promised year-end bonuses and raises.[23]

In late November 2016, LeEco announced a partnership with American telecommunications company AT&T to include its Internet-based cable TV streaming service DirecTV Now on LeEco "ecophones" and "ecotvs".[24]

On 1 December 2016, LeEco started selling products in the United States through national retail chains Amazon.com, Target, and Best Buy, as well as continuing sales and after-sales support through its LeMall.com marketplace.

In early December 2016, layoffs were conducted in Hong Kong, India (80% of the workforce), and the US. At the time, the company did not want to attract media attention to US operations. Therefore, only India and Hong Kong layoffs were reported. However, multiple reports concluded that the first wave of layoffs in the US started as early as November 2016, with the recruiting team being the first to let go, following employees from different departments.[25]

On 5 January 2017, Haosheng Electronic Technology (NEEQ838701) announced that they sued LeMobile for non-performing debts of CN¥11,020,393.22 and US$5,929,259.14 respectively.[26]

On 13 January 2017, a 15% stake in Le Vision Pictures was agreed to be sold from Leshi Holding to Tianjin Jiarui, a subsidiary of Tianjin Yingrui Huixin (a company managed by Sunac China in order to bypass restrictions on foreign investments) for CN¥1.05 billion. In a separate deal, Tianjin Jiarui acquired the rights to nominate a member to the board of supervisors of LeMobile.[1] LeEco's minority stake in the TV manufacturing subsidiary of Le.com (Leshi Zhixin) would also be diluted to 18.3805% due to the subscription of new shares by Tianjin Jiarui and other investors.[1]

In April 2017, the company announced that it had scrapped its acquisition of Vizio, citing "regulatory headwinds", but that it would "continue to explore opportunities".[27][28]

On 22 May 2017, an email sent to CNBC revealed an internal meeting in the Silicon Valley office to give an advance two-month notice to soon lay off more than 325 employees, 70% of the workforce. The company will now only occupy 1/4th of the office, sub-leasing out the remaining spaces for other potential companies.[29]

In July 2017, Jia has fled his home country in China to work at Faraday Future in southern California after his assets were frozen by a Shanghai court. He has since visited Hong Kong for a short period of time in an attempt to receive funding from investors.[30][31]

In July 2017, Jia stepped down, and LeEco's board appointed Sun Hongbin as the chairman, who has previously served as the chairman of Sunac.

In March 2018, LeEco's operations in Hong Kong were shut down, due to an order requested by the High Court in Hong Kong.[citation needed]

In July 2018, LeEco announced to rebrand of its Chinese name (Chinese: 乐融致新; pinyin: lèróng zhìxīn; lit. 'Joy and Harmony For The New Era'), as well as updating its logo sign at its Beijing Headquarters.[32]

In August 2018, Le.com published various new job postings for hiring interns for 2019 at its Beijing Headquarters.[33]

In September 2018, LeEco established a new subsidiary and successfully acquired new venture capital funds from Tencent and JD.com.[34] In the same month, the company announced a strategic partnership to be working with JD.com, BroadLink, Qinglianyun, and Rokid in various strategic initiatives, such as cloud, IoT, smart hardware, cyber security, NPL, etc.[35] In the same month, LeEco sold its remaining ownership of Leshi Zhixin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. and Le Vision Pictures to Sunac.[8]

As of October 2018, Le.com stills shows a full lineup of up-to-date videos in all major categories. Furthermore, Le.com has formally announced that it is not for sale. Its management is actively exploring solutions to address its financial issues.[9]

Subsidiaries and acquisitions edit

LeMusic edit

LeMusic's (Chinese: 乐视音乐; pinyin: lèshì yīnyuè) establishment was announced in Hong Kong in 2015.[36] Yin Liang (尹亮), core creator of LeEco's music business, was appointed chief executive officer of the new music company, while Lei Zhenjian was appointed chairman. Its model includes a pay-per-view live concert model which has produced over 300 concerts as of 2015.[37]

LeMobile edit

LeEco Le 1s model

LeMobile (Chinese: 乐视移动; pinyin: lèshì yídòng), a subsidiary of Leshi Holding,[38] produces high-end smartphones under the LeEco brand. Its most recent smartphones include the Le Pro 3 and Le S3.

List of LeEco Smartphones [39][40][41][42]
Model Code Release date Screen size CPU RAM PRICE Expandable


NFC Battery Headphone port
Le 1 X600 5.5" MediaTek Helio X10 2.0 3 GB 58,000 - - 3000 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le 1 Pro X800 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 4 GB 92,000 - - 3000 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le Max X900 6.3" Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 4 GB 82,491 - Yes 3400 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le Max Pro X910 2016.01 6.33" Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4 GB 141,300 - - 3400 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le 1s X500 2015.06 5.5" MediaTek Helio X10 2.2 3 GB 57,239 - - 3000 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le 1s X501 2015.06 5.5" MediaTek Helio X10 2.0 3 GB 55,198 - - 3000 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le 2 X520 2016.04 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 3/4 GB 74,563 - - 3000 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le S3 X522 2016.10 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 3 GB 74,563 - - 3000 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le 2 X526 2016.10 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 3 GB 88,563 - - 3000 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le 2 X620 2016.04 5.5" MediaTek Helio X20 3 GB 84,000 - - 3000 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le 2 Pro X625 2016.04 5.5" MediaTek Helio X25 4 GB 99,948 - - 3100 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le Max 2 X820 2016.04 5.7" Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4/6GB 138,000 - - 3100 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Cool1 C106 2016.09 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 3 GB 77,000 - - 4060 mAh 3.5mm analog jack
Le Pro 3 X722 2017.03 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4 GB 142,000 - - 4070 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)
Le Pro 3 X720 2016.09.21 5.5" Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 4/6GB 163,594 - Yes 4070 mAh USB Type C (CDLA)

LeSEE and Faraday Future edit

Leshi Holdings[38] set up their electric vehicle branch in January 2015, LeSEE (Leshi Super Electric Car Company) and launched a concept model with Faraday Future at CES 2016. It also showed the Chinese-manufactured derivative at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, the Le Supercar.[43][44] The Le Car luxury vehicle with engineering talent from Lotus has also been shown.[45] It also tried to lure in more talents in the field to develop their own products such as hiring Ni Kai (Chinese: 倪凯), who was the former director of Baidu's driverless car project.[46] In April 2016, LeEco presented its very first model of its self-driving car named LeSEE (Super Electric Ecosystem) during a press conference in Beijing.[47]

LeEco announced in the last week of December 2016 that they had broken ground for a US$3B (20B yuan) factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang.[48] CarNewsChina reported that LeEco said the site will be 4,300 acres in size. LeEco plans to build a vehicle factory, a battery factory, and a traction motor factory. LeEco expects production rate to be around 200,000 cars a year at first, and then work up to a full capacity of 400,000 cars a year.[49]

In August 2018, Faraday Future received US$854 million from Evergrande Health for a 45% stake in the company. In the same month, the company completed the first pre-production FF 91.[50]

Film studios edit

LeEco is the owner of Le Vision Pictures. On 5 December 2015, it was announced that the film studio would be sold to Le.com. As of 8 November 2016, the deal was still in the phase of valuation.[51]

In September 2016 the company announced the acquisition of Dichotomy Creative Group and the creation of Le Vision Entertainment, a US-based film studio.[52]

As of May 2018, the company is still actively working on film development.

Le VR edit

Le VR (Chinese: 乐视虚拟现实; pinyin: lèshì xūnǐxiànshí) is a company that invests in virtual reality technology. Its products are currently only available in China and can be found and be experienced by customers for free at its Beijing Headquarter's ground floor, retail section. Meanwhile, it is being researched and developed in Silicon Valley office.

As of April 2018, the company has decided to dissolve its VR division in the US due to financial constraints.

Products edit

Continual Digital Lossless Audio edit

CDLA is a proprietary technology that implements an audio processing chip into USB Type-C connector. With CDLA, instead of the smartphone decoding the audio and outputting signal through analog 3.5mm jack, the audio piece is transferred in digital form via USB Type C to the CDLA chip typically inside the USB connector, which then produces and outputs analog signal through the normal built-in audio cable. The principle is similar to USB audio cards, which are known to produce mediocre results due to problems with shielding, as compared to professional audio equipment. There are no independent tests to prove the company claims and the whole argumentation is full of marketing with little connection to actual audio technology. It is not possible to use regular 3.5mm jack headphones with CDLA phone, it requires specialized CDLA headsets. Because of this and proprietary design, the price of CDLA unit is higher compared to 3.5mm jack headphones, while any compatibility is absent.

Sister companies edit

LeEco Global Holding edit

Jia Yueting, also owned 28.83% shares of Hong Kong listed company Coolpad Group (as the largest shareholder and chairman of the board) via Cayman Islands-incorporated Lele Holding (and its subsidiary LeEco Global Holding), which had no parent-subsidiary relation with China-incorporated Leshi Holding (Beijing), the parent company of mainland China part of LeEco.

It was reported that LeEco Global Holding opened a call center in Russia in 2016.[53]

Le.com edit

Leshi Holding (Beijing) owned 0.6% shares of Shenzhen listed company Le.com, which the largest shareholder was LeEco chairman Jia Yueting.

LeRan Investment Management edit

Ningbo Hangzhou Bay New District LeRan Investment Management, a private equity fund, was partially owned by Jia Yueting and Leshi Holding (who also owned the management company (general partner) of the fund). LeRan Investment Management was the shareholder of Leshi Zhixin for 3.9486% stake, which Leshi Holding (Beijing) owned 17.9497%.

LeSports edit

LeSports is a sports video streaming service.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "MAJOR TRANSACTION - IN RELATION TO INVESTMENT IN TARGET SHARES OF LESHI INTERNET,LESHI PICTURES AND LESHI ZHIXIN" (PDF). Sunac China. Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ "LeEco to start selling smartphones in the India - leecophones.com". LeEcoPhones.
  3. ^ "Letv plans to invades U.S. smartphone market - CNN.com". CNN. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  4. ^ "China's LeTV plans foray into Indian smartphone market – Times of India". The Times of India. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  5. ^ "LeEco launched in Russia, the official online store and have announced the prices for the smartphones Max Le 2 and Le 2". AppleApple .top world news | All top APPLE news, iPhone, iMac, iPad, Apple Watch. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  6. ^ "China's cash-strapped LeEco in talks to gain $1.4 billion from investor". CNBC.com. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  7. ^ "LeEco's assets frozen by Chinese court as debts mount". Engadget. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b ""咸鱼"乐融致新能否翻身_五龙传说/街机/手机街机". daolade.com. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b "乐视网:公司没有被拍卖,现金流极度紧张_要闻_科技频道首页_财经网 - CAIJING.COM.CN". tech.caijing.com.cn (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  10. ^ "The Netflix of China Just Bought Vizio to Conquer the US". WIRED. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  11. ^ Verrier, Richard (13 November 2015). "Le Vision Pictures' Zhang Zhao says China can teach Hollywood and Silicon Valley to get along". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  12. ^ Tilley, Aaron. "Chinese Video Streamer Letv Launches Smartphone, Opens Up US Headquarters". Forbes. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  13. ^ Lucic, Kristijan (12 August 2015). "Letv Sold 1 Million Le Superphones In Less Than 3 Months". Android Headlines. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  14. ^ "LeEco Formally Announces Opening of New, 80,000 Square Foot North American Headquarters in Silicon Valley with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony". Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  15. ^ Bishop, Bryan (26 July 2016). "Vizio acquired by Chinese tech company LeEco for $2 billion". The Verge. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  16. ^ "LeEco Le Pro 3 First Impressions Review: Will USA Love China?". News18. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  17. ^ "LeEco to enter the USA market this fall". GSMArena.com. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  18. ^ "LeEco CEO Admits to Cash Crunch, Says Company 'Over-Extended'". NDTV Gadgets360.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Is LeEco really in trouble?". 8 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Chinese Billionaire Cuts Salary to 15 Cents Amid Cash Crunch". Bloomberg.com. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  21. ^ 宋静丽. "LeEco plans to cut 10 percent of workforce - USA - Chinadaily.com.cn". usa.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  22. ^ 澄清媒體報導內容 2016-11-23 公開資訊觀測站
  23. ^ "'It's All Over Now But the Screaming': Inside the Unraveling of LeEco in America". 18 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017 – via www.gizmodo.com.
  24. ^ 张健合. "LeEco partners with AT&T - USA - Chinadaily.com.cn". usa.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  25. ^ "What the Hell is Going On at LeEco?". 11 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017 – via www.gizmodo.com.
  26. ^ "涉及仲裁公告" [Announcement on involving in an arbitration] (PDF). Haosheng Electronic Technology (in Chinese). National Equities Exchange And Quotations. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  27. ^ "LeEco deal to buy Vizio for $2 billion falls through". CNET. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  28. ^ "LeEco's abandoned Vizio acquisition is just the latest in a series of missteps". Ars Technica. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  29. ^ "LeEco employees are being called to a Tuesday meeting, and massive layoffs are expected". 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017 – via www.cnbc.com.
  30. ^ "Will LeEco Founder Obey Regulator and Return to China? - Caixin Global". www.caixinglobal.com. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Jia Yueting Stays in California, Shelves Plans for FF Plant in Las Vegas". 24 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017 – via www.yicaiglobal.com.
  32. ^ "乐融致新成立文化传媒公司:乐视"船沉",乐融"上潜"? | 第一财经周刊". www.cbnweek.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  33. ^ "校园招聘|乐视官方招聘". job.le.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  34. ^ "腾讯京东入股后 乐融致新成立文化传媒公司_科技_腾讯网". tech.qq.com (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  35. ^ "乐融集团发布子品牌乐融云联 并与京东云等展开合作|乐融集团_ZNDS资讯". news.znds.com (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Letv Establishes Music Company". ChinaTechNews.com. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  37. ^ "Ecosystem | LeEco". LeEco. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  38. ^ a b "关于相关事项的提示性公告" [Clarification] (PDF). le.com (in Chinese). Shenzhen Stock Exchange. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  39. ^ Kimovil.com. "Compare prices for LeEco (LeTV) smartphones". Kimovil.com. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  40. ^ "LeEco - Chinahandys.net". Chinahandys.net (in German). Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  41. ^ "【乐Pro3手机】乐视手机Pro3,纤薄长续航-乐视商城". www.lemall.com. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  42. ^ "LeEco - NerdsHeaven.de". www.nerdsheaven.de. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  43. ^ Mark Harris (26 February 2016). "Inside Faraday Future: is it really a big player in the future of electric cars?". The Guardian.
  44. ^ Tycho De Feijter (12 May 2016). "What We Know About The LeSEE Tesla Killer From China". Forbes.
  45. ^ Jonathon Ramsey (26 August 2015). "Le Supercar hopes to be China's answer to Tesla". AutoBlog.
  46. ^ "allchinatech Resources and Information". ww16.allchinatech.com. [dead link]
  47. ^ Dunne, Michael J. "What You Should Know About Billionaire Jia Yueting's $1.8B Play To Build A Chinese Challenger To Tesla". Forbes. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  48. ^ Lambert, Fred (29 December 2016). "LeEco breaks ground at $3 billion electric car factory in China amid setbacks in the US with Faraday Future". Electrek. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  49. ^ "LeEco Starts Building Its 20 Billion Yuan Car Factory In China". CarNewsChina.com - China Auto News. 28 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  50. ^ Blanco, Sebastian. "Faraday Future's First Pre-Production FF 91 Is Here". Forbes. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  51. ^ "关于继续推进重大资产重组事项及后续工作安排说明的公告" (PDF). le.com (in Chinese). Shenzhen Stock Exchange. 9 November 2016 [Written on 8 November 2016]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  52. ^ Kilday, Gregg (14 September 2016). "Adam Goodman, Zhang Zhao Join Forces to Create Le Vision Entertainment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  53. ^ "Китайский LeEco нашел вход в Россию" (in Russian). comnews.ru. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

External links edit