Tech News

Friday, 17 February 2017 | MYT 7:30 AM

Focus on LeEco, China’s most ambitious electronics group

Multi-faceted: Smartphones are one of many strings to this group's bow, since LeEco works in several fields of consumer electronics, from electric cars and virtual reality headsets to TVs, smart bikes and online video streaming. — LeEco

Multi-faceted: Smartphones are one of many strings to this group's bow, since LeEco works in several fields of consumer electronics, from electric cars and virtual reality headsets to TVs, smart bikes and online video streaming. — LeEco

Chinese manufacturer LeEco sold more than 25 million smartphones worldwide in 2016 – mainly in China – five times as many as in 2015 when the firm launched into the mobile phone market. 

Smartphones are one of many strings to this group's bow, since LeEco works in several fields of consumer electronics, from electric cars and virtual reality headsets to TVs, smart bikes and online video streaming. 

Founded in 2004, the LeEco group focused for a long time on producing and streaming video content to mass audiences. The firm then started manufacturing and selling devices such as TV sets and headphones before branching out into smartphones in 2015. And LeEco hasn't stopped there, unveiling in 2016 what's probably its most ambitious project yet – a fully autonomous concept-car called LeSEE. 

In parallel, the group is a financial partner of the new American intelligent electric vehicle maker Faraday Future, which recently unveiled its first production model, the FF91 – set to rival Tesla's vehicles from 2018 – at the CES technology show in Las Vegas. 

Unlike many of its fellow Chinese manufacturers, LeEco is keen to conquer other global markets, and soon. Some of its products are already available in India and are arriving in the USA soon. Internationally, its current smartphone offer is relatively sparse, limited to the Le Pro3 – priced at US$399 (RM1,778) – and the brand new Le S3, priced at US$249 (RM1,109). 

Both are 5.5in handsets running Android Marshmallow (6.0) that have nothing to envy of competitors from the likes of Huawei and HTC. 

Although the firm faces tough competition in the smartphone market in China, with the growing success of Oppo and Vivo, a sound international development strategy could help LeEco gain a similar international status to Huawei. — AFP Relaxnews

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