Tech ma­jor LeEco plans to go global, with first targets US, In­dia

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By MENGJING in Boao, Hainan mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tech­nol­ogy ma­jor LeEco Hold­ings Co Ltd is gear­ing up to be­come a global com­pany with plans to en­ter sev­eral overseas mar­kets within the year.

Hank Liu, co­founder and vice-chair­man of LeEco, for­merly known as LeTV, said on Wed­nes­day that it has tar­geted theUnited States and In­dia as its two ma­jor mar­kets out­side China in 2016.

“The year 2016 marks the be­gin­ning of our glob­al­iza­tion. We don’t make it a goal to over­take tech giants, such as Ap­ple Inc, Ama­zon.comInc or Tes­laM­o­tors Inc. But we do have an am­bi­tion to be­come a glob­al­ized com­pany, be­cause all great com­pa­nies are glob­al­ized,” Liu said on the side­lines of the 2016 Boao Fo­rum for Asia, in Boao, Hainan prov­ince.

Ac­cord­ing to Liu, LeEco re­cently en­tered the US and In­dia mar­kets by open­ing on­line chan­nels to sell its smart­phones and smart tele­vi­sions. “Later in the first half of this year, we will make a ma­jor foray into South­east Asia and in the sec­ond half of this year, we will en­ter the Rus­sian mar­ket,” he said.

He said the Bei­jing-based firm, which sells In­ter­net-en­abled de­vices that are bun­dled with video con­tents in China, is go­ing to repli­cate its busi­ness model in overseas mar­kets.

He re­fused to re­veal the amount of money LeEco plans to pour for the am­bi­tious glob­al­iza­tion strat­egy. But he said the in­vest­ment will mainly be used to make sure its overseas users have great ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing on­line videos and have a rich se­lec­tion of video con­tents to choose from.

“We use dif­fer­ent strate­gies to get con­tents into dif­fer­ent mar­kets. In the US, we adopt a strat­egy to open our plat­form to con­tent pro­duc­ers, al­low­ing them to reach au­di­ences through our chan­nel. And in some other coun­tries, we could in­vest or even buy up some stu­dios, so that we could pro­duce our own pro­grams.”

LeEco’s newly launched Su­per TV X65 equipped with a 65-inch 4K screen is priced at 4,999 yuan ($769) in China. Some an­a­lysts ar­gued that LeEco could never make profit by set­ting the price this low. But Liu said the com­pany has no in­ten­tion to make money from sell­ing de­vices. “We had 12 mil­lion paid sub­scribers for our TV con­tents alone in 2015,” he said.

The rea­son LeEco chose US and In­dia as the top pri­or­i­ties for overseas ex­pan­sion is that the mar­ket in the US is very de­vel­oped with cut­tingedge tech com­pa­nies while In­dia is the most im­por­tant emerg­ing econ­omy with a large pop­u­la­tion.

“If we could be suc­cess­ful in those two mar­kets, we can be suc­cess­ful around the world,” he said, adding be­ing suc­cess­ful means that LeEco needs to be­come one of the top three play­ers there not only in terms of mar­ket shares but also in the num­ber of users.

The com­pany has a unique busi­ness model that is based on the so-called ecosys­tem, cov­er­ing smart de­vices, video con­tents and now elec­tric cars.

If we could be suc­cess­ful in those two mar­kets, we can be suc­cess­ful around the world.”

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