LeEco

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Leshi Holding
乐视控股
LeEco
Private
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 8 September 2011; 7 years ago (2011-09-08)
Founder Jia Yueting
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served
Worldwide (China, India, USA and Russia mainly)
Key people
Jia Yueting (managing director)
Products Automobiles, bicycles, mobile phones, televisions, film productions, virtual reality
Brands LeMall.com, EcoPass
Owner Jia Yueting (92.07%)[1]
Subsidiaries
Website Chinese website
US website

LeEco (Chinese: 乐视生态; pinyin: Lèshì Shēngtài; literally: "Leshi Ecosystem") is a Chinese multinational conglomerate corporation founded by Jia Yueting, the founder of Le.com (formerly LeTV). The group maintains ventures in video streaming, consumer electronics, such as smartphones, smart TVs, VR, electric bicycles, electric cars, film production and distribution, cloud service, real estate, wine, retail, eCommerce, and other business. The holding company of the group is known as Leshi Holding (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 乐视控股(北京)有限公司; pinyin: Lèshì Kònggǔ Běijīng Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī). LeEco has expanded to countries outside of China, such as the United States[3][4], India[5], and Russia[6].

From 2016 onwards,[7][8] LeEco has been experiencing financial limitations due to aggressive strategic expansion and difficulties in acquiring new venture capital funds.

History[edit]

LeEco, (Chinese: 乐视生态; pinyin: lèshì shēngtài; literally: "Leshi Ecosystem"), formerly Letv (Chinese: 乐视视频; pinyin: lèshì shìpín; literally: "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 as a sister company of Letv to provide media content and products that linked to its services.

Many media sources refer Letv as the Netflix of China, but actually Netflix is the Letv of the US. 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.[9]

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.[10]

In April 2015, Letv established its first US headquarters in Redwood City to build up its presence in Silicon Valley, and it announced to open another office in Los Angeles in the near future.[11]

In Jan 2016, both Letv services and electronics products that were previously marketed internationally under the Letv name were re 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 spook with media and gave attendees a look into LeEco’s full ecosystem of content, platforms and devices.[12]

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 Redwood City office moved to 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.[13]

On October 19, 2016 LeEco officially launched in US at an debut event code-named as "Big Bang" which was held in Innovation Hangar, San Francisco. The company unveiled their new flagship Le Pro 3, Le S3, and EcoTVs.[14]

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).[15]

On 6 November 2016, CEO Jia Yuetin sent an internal letter to employees in hopes to make transparency and calm 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."[16] He plans to invest US$10 million and to reduce his base salary to US$0.15 in order to allow the company to expand into the United States.[17][18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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".[22]

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 workforce) and the US. At the time, the company did not want to attract media attention to the 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.[23]

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.[24]

On 13 January 2017, a 15% stake of 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 restriction on foreign investments) for CN¥1.05 billion. In a separate deal, Tianjin Jiarui acquired rights to nominate a member to the board of supervisors of LeMobile.[2] LeEco's minority stake in the TV manufacturing subsidiary of Le.com (Leshi Zhixin) would also being diluted to 18.3805% due to the subscription of new shares by Tianjin Jiarui and other investors.[2]

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".[25][26]

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.[27]

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.[28][29] He has since visited Hong Kong for a short period of time for an attempt at receiving funding from investors, only to be avoided due to his negative reputation.[30]

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 December 2017, LeEco's San Jose office dissolved the last batch of staff and moved operations back to Beijing Headquarters.[citation needed] In the same month, LeEco.com showed all products as out of stock, and some images failed to load, indicating that the website was not being maintained. Faraday Future, on the other hand, still showed strong growth and progress from its operations in Gardena, CA and its website FF.com.

In Jan 2018, LeEco's US website began redirecting users to Le.com, which shows vibrancy with a wide variety of up-to-date videos in TV drama, movies, sports, variety, and more.

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

In July 2018, LeEco announced to rebrand its Chinese name (Chinese: 乐融致新; pinyin: lèróng zhìxīn; literally: "Joy and Harmony For The New Era"), as well as updating its logo sign at its Beijing Headquarters.[31]

In August 2018, Le.com published various new job postings to hire internees for 2019 at its Beijing Headquarters.[32]

In September 2018, LeEco has established a new subsidiary and successfully acquired new venture capital funds from Tencent and JD.com.[33] 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.[34]

As of September 2018, Le.com stills shows a full lineup of up-to-date videos in all major categories. The company profile still indicates it has 833 employees on LinkedIn.[35]

Subsidiaries or Announced 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]

Letv 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 AnTuTu Expandable

storage

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)

Faraday Future (formerly LeSEE)[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. In the same month, the company recruited several internees (with strong media backgrounds from University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles) to join the company as Development Intern[citation needed].

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 digital audio transfer standard. CDLA gives an end-to-end true lossless audio sound. In CDLA the audio is precisely correct and attenuation-free because in CDLA technology, the headset itself has an integrated audio processing chip and a decoder, and uses a Type-C port, which does not allow any sound quality loss. The loss usually occurs in bluetooth headphones and earphones, irrespective of whether you are using a phone or a laptop. In a 3.5mm jack-based system, the decoder is built into the smartphone. The sound quality depends on the quality of the DAC decoder, and the implementation of this. in addition to the quality of the amplification circuit. regardless of whether the circuit is internal (3.5mm jack) or external (CDLA). however the CDLA has the advantage of making a thinner phone possible, in addition to the possibility of implementing balanced amplification circuits.

CDLA headset

The CDLA earphones present themselves to the USB subsystem like a regular USB soundcard. Any computing device with support for such class (USB audio streaming), should be able to interoperate with CDLA earphones. One could think of such earphones as a combination of a USB soundcard combined with fixed connected earphones and a microphone.

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 centre 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]

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External links[edit]