Skip to main content

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.”

Editors' Recommendations

Harrison Kaminsky
Harrison’s obsession in the tech space originated in his father’s electronics store in Denville, New Jersey, where he…
LeEco breaks into U.S. brick-and-mortar stores with Target sales
LeEco Le S3 Hands On

It looks like LeEco is going to try and make 2017 the year it finally makes a serious impact in the U.S. We already knew that the company had resolved to break into U.S. brick-and-mortar stores in the new year, and now it looks like it has completed that resolution in a matter of weeks -- the LeEco Le Pro 3 and Le S3 are now available at Target.

The news is an important step for LeEco. It's phones haven't exactly taken off in the U.S. as the company would have hoped, even though phones like the Le Pro 3 are a great choice for users who want high-spec phones at an affordable price. Still, there are issues with LeEco's phones, especially when it comes to things like software -- the company seems to have bet on U.S. customers being fine joining a totally new ecosystem, a bet that doesn't seem to be paying off.

Read more
LeEco's 2017 plans? Cracking open the brick-and-mortar space in the U.S.
leeco silicon valley property

LeEco's resolution for the new year is to make its name as recognizable as Apple or Samsung in the United States.

The company, known as the "Netflix of China," bought TV-maker Vizio last year and made its U.S. debut with a slew of smartphones, TVs, and a streaming service. Soon after, though, LeEco's founder Yueting Jia sent a letter to his employees saying how he would cut his salary to 15 cents to help sustain the business.

Read more
LeEco bolstering its lineup: Specs, photos of the LeX920 were just leaked online
leeco le pro 3

LeEco has launched a few devices this year, including the Le Pro 3 and the Le S3, both of which are part of the company's big push into the U.S. Now it looks as though we may soon be getting more LeEco devices.

A phone called the LeEco Le X920 was recently spotted in a post on Chinese social media website Weibo. It shows off off some pretty nice specs and a huge screen, suggesting that the company may be working on another flagship phone, or at least a phone with very high-end specs. A few images were also included as part of the leak.

Read more