Talk might be cheap, and insulting Apple for its recent lack of innovation, product lineup rigidity and datedness seems to have become a rite of passage of sorts for China-based tech companies aspiring to global relevance.
Then again, actually pursuing one’s American dream can sure be costly and perilous for one’s comfortable domestic financial stature, so believe in LeEco or not, you have to admire the Chinese entertainment giant’s foreign risks and investments.
After announcing they’ll soon expand their brick and mortar presence to India, the makers of the Le Max 2, Le 2 and Le 2 Pro phones just dropped a bombshell on their no doubt growing Western fan base. Not only will at least one of those three devices officially land in the US later this year, but local promotion should be handled from a newly established Silicon Valley headquarters.
The facility is poised to support “as many” as 800 employees on a massive 80,000 square foot surface, holding among others the future “home of LeEco’s autonomous driving research center”, the aptly named LeFuture AI Institute.
Obviously, no phones or VR headsets will actually be manufactured stateside, as something like that would drive production costs and subsequently retail prices through the roof. Still, this is a bold move from the company previously known as LeTV, as well as a big risk and an expense unlikely to yield a regional profit in the short term.
But if LeEco’s mission is indeed to “bring extraordinary experiences to people everywhere”, it feels logical to come as close as possible to “U.S. consumers”, sharing with them a unique vision of “one connected ecosystem”, creating a “seamless, premium connected experience across” a range of “lifestyle products.”