Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

After Firing 85% Staff, LeEco Says Won't Exit India Operations

LeEco fires 85% staff of Indian unit, may exit India China's technology firm LeEco fires 85% employees of Indian unit; may exit from India in next few months
Howard Terry | 04 March, 2017, 00:45

The company, which outflanked Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo with an advertising budget as high as Rs 80 crore a month, had exited sales through offline retail stores in December. As per sources close to development, the layoffs are a precursor to the company's eventual exit from India. "In the past one year, LeEco India has gained market recognition and the initial stage of market seeding has been successful", LeEco said in a statement.

Chinese smartphone maker LeEco, which previously indicated financial strains, has fired 85% of employees in India and is likely to exit the country, according to a media report. Troubled LeEco lands 16.8 billion yuan lifeline after selling stakes in video, movie assets to Sunac ChinaHe said the company has been reassessing its Indian operations since past year.

India Chief Operating Officer Alex Li confirmed the exit of LeEco's executives but denied plans to exit India or liquidate stock.

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting had written an email to employees in November stating that his company had expended its cash reserves too fast by expanding into areas like smartphones and driverless cars, the report says.

Sources have told the Economic Times that people are being let go from LeEco's Delhi and Mumbai units as well as from their R & D centre in Bengaluru. "All this certainly does not signal a company in wind-up mode", read the company statement. It's yet to be ascertained if the company has any particular reason behind taking this decision, but for now, it seems like LeEco's future in the country hangs in the balance.

The latest development comes months after LeEco's one of the founders Jia Yueting admitted "blindly" speeding ahead and that the company had run out of the cash. Internet applications, service and content business CEO Debashish Ghosh had also left the company. "So, LeEco found it neither here nor there", cited the senior executive requesting anonymity.

The smartphone maker made a big splash in India a year ago when it launched a range of smartphones, TVs and content services alongside a lavish advertising campaign. He also opposed that the slump in sales had anything to do with demonetisation.

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