LeEco To Penetrate The American Market With Its Affordable Products

摘要: “LeEco might fail. But I believe the progressive Internet ecosystem form that LeEco represents will succeed eventually.”

(Chinese Version)

Jia running along the stage

Jia running along the stage

After three years’ efforts, LeEco is finally entering the American market.

LeEco announced its entrance into the American market on a showcase in San Francisco’s Innovation Center, on October 19th, where the company unveiled a sleek smartphone called the LePro 3 that will sell for $400 and an internet-connected TV with a 7-foot screen priced at $5,000. The event was just as fancy as Apple’s product release conference, with the company’s partners, including Lions Gate Film’s CEO Jon on Feltheimer and Vice’s senior vice president Ben Dietz on stage together to show support for LeEco’s entrance.

LeEco is bringing its video service, smart TVs, smartphones, VR, a smart bike and a self-driving electric vehicle into the American market, heralding its internationalization process. LeEco has made all the products above available on its U.S online store except for its automobiles.

Before the release, Jia Yueting stated in a public letter that what LeEco is trying to do now is seamlessly connect all terminals. Jia believes this will be the next-gen mainstream Internet lifestyle, which is an ecosystem will lock in users to specific brands and platforms. In preparation for its expansion in the U.S, LeEco has set its global HQ in the Silicon Valley. So far the LeEco’s HQ in the U.S has a team of more than 500 talents. And that’s only a small part of LeEco’s grand game.

LeEco further moves into the Silicon Valley by purchasing 49 acres of land in Santa Clara, California, which used to belong to Yahoo. The company is planning to transform this area into an EcoCity, which can hold a staff of 12,000.

The first to appear on the release conference was LeEco’s chief revenue officer in north America, Danny Bowman, who made a rather bold statement when he was on stage. “Whether it’s Apple, Google, Samsung, Tesla, or Amazon, none of these incredible tech companies can achieve what LeEco is about to roll out,” said Bowman.

Similar to what it was like in China, almost every senior executives that had gone on stage, explained over and over again what LeEco really is in English. These executives are former talents at Samsung, Huawei, Qualcomm etc. According to them, LeEco stands for LeTV ecosystem, a part of the company’s plan for the U.S market.

Richard Ren, president of LeEco’s North America business and President of Smart Devices Overseas Business, was actually the former President of Huawei Western Europe Consumer Business Group. As for Danny Bowman, the current chief revenue officer, was the chief sales and operations officer at Samsung. LeEco’s chief R&D office Rob Chandrok was the president of Qualcomn Internet Service.

They reiterated to everyone present about LeEco’s strategy and open model, beliving that LeEco will bring a brand new user experience to the American market.

Just like in the Chinese market, LeEco has also brought up its content open platform strategy, announcing to collaborate with video service provicers including Netflix, Google, Showtime and Sling TV etc. as well as film companies such as DELISH, MGM, Lions Gate etc.

Could LeEco’s model appeal to American users? Most mainstream smart TVs in the U.S have pre-installed Netflix or Hulu’s service. Through Google’s Chromcast, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, users can also enjoy a great pool of Internet video contents.

In Jeff Briller’s opinion, LeEco’s north American content business general manager, at present American users only enjoy a pool of diverse contents, which falls short of quality contents. And this gives LeEco a shot in the market.

When the conference was coming to an end, LeEco’s co-founder and CEO Jia Yueting, dressed in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, appeared on stage. That was not the big entrance that he wanted. In his vision, he would be riding LeEcos’s self-driving electric car LeSEE to the stage. However, during the shipping process, the cargo was delayed by a car accident and then a flight delay. The car just couldn’t make it in time to the conference. To warm up the venue, Jia chose to run to the stage in the end.

“The original plan was for LeSEE to be at the venue and show the audience how it drives automatically. But unfortunately 48 hours before the event we learned that the truck carrying LeSEE had an accident on its way to San Francisco, which left LeSEE in a bad shape. So we decided to put LeSEE Pro up instead. But we didn’t have enough time to program LeSEE Pro for showing automatic driving. Eventually we put it out for display.”

From Jia’s perspective, LeEco didn’t come to the U.S to compete with American giants, despite the fact that Liang Jun, LeEco’s new president, had shown his ambition to take out Samsung in the American smart TV sector.

“Some people say that LeEco is a combination of Apple, Tesla, Samsung, Amazon, Netflix, and Dssney. Some are saying LeEco is crazy to compete with local legendary giants in their backyard. But I want to point out that LeEco is not merely a Chinese company, but an international company as well. Compared with Apple’s closed loop, LeEco is an open closed-loop. We are a new species that represents the future.”

“We are going to vertically intergrade the industrial chains and restructure the values of different industries, break the boundaries between industries, borders between regions and countries. We will innovate, and build a progressive platform, so as to bring forth the next-gen product form and give our users a brand new experience,” Jia Yueting said, repeating his speech back in China.

“The American market is the most important market for us globally, and America has the most mature user base,” Jia Yueting said, stressing about the importance of the American market. But it remains unknown whether LeEco’s products can really stand out in the highly competitive and mature American market or not.

It’s evident that LeEco’s biggest weapon is its cheap pricing. Le Pro3 is only priced at $399 in the U.S, while similar smartphones in the American market are priced at $650 on average. As for TV products, LeEco has rolled out its 85-inches smart TV uMax85, which is priced at $4999 and comes with a 12-months service membership. The company also updates its 4th generation series: X43Pro, X55 and X65. LeEco started to sell its smart TVs late last year.

This is a very competitive price compared with Samsung’s 4K TVs in the U.S. Amazon on the other hand prices its 85-inches 4K product at around $8000. LeEco offers to American users its ecosystem service membership. Users will be able to enjoy the service that’s worth over $1000.

In Jia Yueting and his team’s opinion, their model represents the future. “LeEco might fail. But I believe the progressive Internet ecosystem form that LeEco represents will succeed eventually.”

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Cao Tianpeng, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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