Moving In: LeEco ramps up US expansion plans with new hires, new land

leeco lecoming to leamerica 2016 letv one pro
Chinese technology company LeEco previewed its extensive expansion plans in April, and recent actions from the company, including comments from spokesman Todd Witkemper, suggest it intends to strike in the United States this fall.

LeEco, which offers a Netflix-like streaming service for movies, TV, games, and more in China, upped its offerings to include smartphones and televisions in 2014, and expanded to India in January of this year. Preparing to move into the U.S. market, the company is on a hiring spree, according to Phone Scoop. And just yesterday, LeEco finished acquiring Yahoo’s 50-acre development site in Santa Clara, California, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.

With plans to market its U.S. products to millennials, the company has more than 400 employees in the country, and hopes to have more than 1,000 by the end of 2016. Leading its unlocked smartphone lineup will most likely be the second-generation version of its Le Max Pro.

Alongside the Max Pro will be the Le 1 Pro, which, as Digital Trends previously reported, will feature a 5.5-inch 1440p screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and a 13-megapixel camera.

While bringing its streaming service to the United States will take time, LeEco is currently in talks with American content producers and rights holders so it can legally operate in the country.

The company’s new Santa Clara space, for which it paid Yahoo $250 million, has approval to build 3 million square feet of space, which could fit 12,000 workers, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Yahoo had paid $106 million for the property in 2006, so the company is making a nice profit from the deal.

The sheer size of the location illustrates the company’s aggressive expansion plans into the U.S. market, especially because its products are not yet widely available throughout the country. LeEco even plucked legal counsel Joshua McGuire from Google, so momentum is certainly on its side.

It appears that LeEco is taking cues from other successful Asia-to-North America expansion plans for its current growth. “There has been a pretty big mind shift in China recently, much like the one that occurred in Japan in the 1970s. They’ve realized they can’t be successful in the U.S. without a large presence here,” tech analyst Rob Enderle said in an email to the Silicon Valley Business Times. “Lenovo was the showcase company and now other Chinese firms are beginning to buy up property to establish a significant presence in the U.S. in order to more effectively market and sell their products. This is just the beginning.”


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