Bottom line: LeEco’s major new push into the US smart TV market could achieve some success due to its recent Vizio purchase, though its concurrent smartphone drive will be a dud due to lawsuits and mediocre product quality.
Watch out, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Chinese online video superstar LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) is taking direct aim at the lucrative US online video and smartphone markets, with plans for major new product launches later this month. I’ll admit I’m doing a bit of educated guessing here, since the company formally known as LeTV hasn’t made any formal announcements yet on its US ambitions.
But all the signs certainly point in that direction, following LeEco’s headline-making $2 billion July purchase of Vizio, a struggling maker of cheap, no-name TVs that is one of the biggest and also most obscure names in the huge US market. Added to that is LeEco’s recent issue of invitations to an event set for October 19 in San Francisco, where it says it will announce its “disruptive vision of a connected ecosystem of content-driven smart devices to the US market.” (English article) Read Full Post…
Bottom line: LeEco and Coolpad could see a brief surge in smartphone sales due to strong promotional efforts, but will rapidly fade when consumers realize its models are the same as many other products on the market.
Just a day after the release of new data showing the surging Oppo was close to stealing China’s smartphone crown from a stumbling Huawei, sector newcomer and online video superstar LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) is talking up new sales targets that imply it believes it can win the title as soon as next year. That’s quite big talk for a company that only entered the smartphone business last year and has never finished among the top 5 vendors for China. But LeEco CEO Jia Yueting has never been afraid of making such bold predictions, following a Chinese tradition that has seen similar big talk come from most of the nation’s other major smartphone makers. Read Full Post…
Bottom line: Coolpad’s latest loss forecast shows it is struggling due to intense competition, and will need to sell more of itself to LeEco in the next 6 months to keep funding its operations.
The woes continue to mount for former smartphone high-flyer Coolpad (HKEx: 2369), which has just announced a profit warning that will see it drop sharply into the red in the first half of this year. The move was almost inevitable due to the overheated state of China’s smartphone market, as Coolpad finally ran out of tricks to hide its mounting losses. The company did admit its sales were plunging in its last earnings report for the year 2015, even as its profit quadrupled that year. But this latest profit warning for the first half of 2016 shows the company is now squarely in the loss column. Read Full Post…
Bottom line: LeEco will try to buy out Coolpad later this year in its new position as the company’s largest stakeholder, while its plans for a massive Silicon Valley campus stand a less than 50 percent chance of getting completed.
The phenomenal but problematic entertainment superstar LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) is in a couple of big headlines as the new week begins, led by word that a new transaction has made it the largest stakeholder in struggling smartphone maker Coolpad (HKEx: 2369). Rumors were flying thick and fast last week that LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, was on the cusp of an outright takeover of Coolpad, and this latest move certainly looks like a possible prelude to such an bid. Meantime, separate media reports are confirming news from earlier this year saying LeEco has purchased a piece of prime Silicon Valley land that it hopes to develop as a campus for its future US headquarters.Read Full Post…
Bottom line: LeEco’s plan to develop a major Silicon Valley office on land purchased from Yahoo reflects the rapid rise and global ambitions of the former, and the accelerating decline of the latter.
A new report involving a Silicon Valley land deal is shining a spotlight on Chinese Internet giant LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) and US counterpart Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), illustrating the rapid rise of the former and accelerating descent of the latter. The deal itself is rather mundane, involving a 48.6 acre plot of undeveloped land that Yahoo bought a decade ago for $100 million near its Silicon Valley headquarters. LeEco is reportedly eyeing the land for development of a new campus, some 2 years after it set up its original dual US headquarters in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.
LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, is one of China’s fastest rising online entertainment companies that is increasingly moving into a wide array of new product areas. Two of those are e-commerce and smart cars, and I suspect the Silicon Valley expansion would house both of those initiatives. LeEco is also moving into film production, though that element of its US efforts is probably based out of its Los Angeles office. Read Full Post…
The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on March 17. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
ZTE (HKEx: 763) Said to Appeal US Export Ban After Lobby Efforts Fail (English article)
Ctrip (Nasdaq: CTRP) Reports Q4 and Full Year Results (PRNewswire)
BAIC, BYD, Dongfeng Motor to Use LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104) Car Internet System (Chinese article)
Terra Firma Rejects HNA Bids for Jet Leasing Group AWAS – Sources (English article)
ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) Announces Convertible Note and Share Repurchases (PRNewswire)
Bottom line: Hertz’s sale of its Car Inc stake reflects the Chinese company’s new focus on hired car services, and could see Car Inc fall into the red as its UCar affiliate vies with Uber and Didi Kuaidi in the fiercely competitive market.
A complex transaction involving Car Inc (HKEx: 699) is making the headlines as the new week begins, reflecting a transformation from its roots as a rental car specialist into a hired car services company competing with Uber and Didi Kuaidi. The deal will see former strategic stakeholder Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) sell most of its stake in the company to UCar, Car Inc’s hired car services affiliate. At the same time, Car Inc’s chairman and one of its largest shareholders will also sell his stake in the company to UCar, which will become one of Car Inc’s biggest shareholders.
There’s no explanation for the shuffle in the announcement, but it does seem to show that Car Inc’s Chairman Charles Lu wants to move his company more quickly into the hired car services sector, which is growing faster but is also fiercely competitive. That would explain Hertz’s decision to sell its stake, since Hertz is a global rental car company that probably has little interest in China’s ultra competitive hired car services market. Read Full Post…
Bottom line: Sohu is likely to combine its online video service with Tencent’s in an ongoing consolidation of the Chinese sector, and the tie-up could presage a Tencent-backed privatization bid for Sohu later this year.
More consolidation could be coming in China’s online video sector, with word that web portal Sohu(Nasdaq: SOHU) may soon sell a major stake in its video service to social networking giant Tencent (HKEx: 700). The move would follow a similar tie-up between this pair in the online search space, and might lead some to wonder if Tencent may even be preparing an eventual bid for Sohu itself. I’ll end the suspense on that matter by saying such a sale seems unlikely, for reasons I’ll explain later. But the pair could still ultimately do more deals together
This particular tie-up would mean that China’s online video sector is firmly consolidating around the country’s 3 biggest Internet companies and a handful of others. Leading search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) is closely associated with Qiyi.com, a leading player, while Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) last year purchased Youku Tudou, another leader. The other major player is LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104), formerly known as LeTV, and state-owned broadcasters in Shanghai and Hunan are also making big pushes into the space. Read Full Post…
Bottom line: Qiyi’s new tie-up with Universal Music could presage its purchase of Baidu’s music unit, while Qihoo’s new video campaign is likely to stumble due to intense competition from existing players.
A couple of new reports are casting a spotlight on the rapid colonization of the video and music spaces by new media companies. The most intriguing of those has Qiyi.com, the online video site affiliated with search leader Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), taking a major step into the music space through a tie-up with global entertainment giant Universal Music. The second has the aggressive Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) making a late but big push into the online video space via a major new hire.
Both of these stories reflect the big challenge that private companies are now posing to traditional TV and radio stations, as they rapidly challenge a state-owned establishment that held a monopoly on China’s entertainment sector for decades. The resulting boom in video and music services has been great for consumers. But in usual Chinese fashion the explosion has sparked another cycle of hyper-competition that has pushed everyone deeply into the red, and is almost certain to end with the typical bust in a few years. Read Full Post…
Bottom line: A new integrated car-ordering platform being rolled out by Lyft and Didi looks like a smart and low-cost move to expand their geographic reach, while LeEco’s electric car venture with Aston Martin is likely to sputter.
Two of China’s top Internet companies are in car-related headlines today, led by a rapidly cozying relationship between Didi Kuaidi and US counterpart Lyft that has the pair preparing to roll out a joint platform for their signature hired car services. The other news has online video giant LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104), formerly known as LeTV, rolling out a joint venture to make electric cars with super luxury brand Aston Martin.
Both of these deals are incremental, since the original Didi-Lyft partnership was formed last year when the former invested in the latter. Likewise, LeEco was rumored to be near a tie-up with Aston Martin as early as last April. From a broader perspective, both moves show a growing confluence between the Internet and cars, which has opened up a wide range of new services that often incorporate GPS technology. Read Full Post…
The following press releases and media reports about Chinese companies were carried on February 16. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
China Smartphone Market Sees Its Highest Shipment Ever of 117.3 Mln in Q4 – IDC (Press Release)
Apple Pay (Nasdaq: AAPL) to Launch in China in 3 Days – Source (Chinese article)
E-Payment Firm Lakala to Backdoor List in Shanghai via ‘Tibet Tourism’ Shell (English article)
LeTV (Shenzhen: 300104) Sports Raises $1 Bln in Series B Funding (Chinese article)
Yingli (NYSE: YGE) Said to Get 3.3 Bln Yuan in Loans Amid Restructuring (English article)