LeEco layoffs finally take hold in US, totaling 325 jobs

With ongoing financial difficulties, Chinese tech company LeEco has decided to wrap up 325 positions in its US workforce — a 70 percent reduction, CNET reports.

The news comes in the midst of parent company Leshi’s financial troubles which, in no small part, were brought on from spending on its US expansion. The campaign began in October with the debut of 4K TVs and smartphones with a tie-back to exclusive digital content ranging from live sports to movie productions. A smart bike was promised (it won’t be delivered at this point) and investments into autonomous car production in Nevada were publicized. Then-CEO Jia Yueting said that the company had 500 employees in the country with more being hired every week.

As Leshi’s investors grew worried about returns, LeEco continued to spend. It couldn’t sustain the acquisition it had set out for TV maker Vizio and had trouble with the payroll in March.

The company is rolling back on its ambitions to grow its hardware sales to rival Samsung and Apple. There’s no word on if it will keep its 46-acre property in Santa Clara, California, but it will have no engineering presence in San Diego and will centralize operations in San Jose. The company’s path now is selling content streaming to Chinese-language households in the US — IDC estimates about 4 million households at most will be served.

Over the weekend, Jia Yueting replaced himself as CEO of Leshi, though he remains the company’s chairman.

“We are currently on a difficult path,” Jia wrote in an internal memo. “Thank you everyone for sticking with us all this time.”

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.