Ubergizmo readers certainly know LeEco, a company founded in China, thanks to products such as the LeSee autonomous electric car or smartphones like the Le 2 Pro. These two examples only show a fraction of the impressive number of businesses under the LeEco umbrella. That company now has a U.S headquarter and will start to bring products to the U.S market. “Customers will never again settle for less”, says Chief Administrative Officer Shawn Williams (on the right in the photo).
Located on North First Street in San Jose, the LeEco HQ is about 800,000 square foot and is home to ~250 employees now. This number is projected to grow to ~800 by years end (hint: if you’re good and looking for a job, now may be a good time).
For those who don’t know LeEco, the company was founded as LeTV in Beijing, China by Jia Yueting (贾跃亭) who’s ~42 years old right now. LeEco as a huge array of businesses sprawling from content (Music, Sports broadcasting licenses, Movies) to SmarTVs, to Mobile phones, to Cloud computing and driverless cars.
It wants to create a huge end-to-end ecosystem where it can influence all aspects of the end-user experience. Although the idea exists in different forms, LeEco wants to push the extent of that ecosystem to never seen before lengths, and so far, it is pretty good at it.
Founder Jia Yueting is confident enough that he recently said that Apple is “outdated” and “falling behind”, at a moment where the iPhone business is slowing for the first time, and Apple’s stock shed $40 Billion overnight.
Many point out that LeEco’s challenge to compete with Apple, Google, Huawei, Samsung, LG and others is tremendous. Yet, LeEco’s executive staff is quick to counter that because the ecosystem they envision is so wide that they truly “compete with no-one.”
This opening certainly makes things interesting in Silicon Valley, and we will keep a close eye on the added-value of LeEco’s proposal. At the moment, the company is still ramping up its activity in the U.S, and it’s too early to know how well it will do.