LeEco CEO YT Jia Lays Out Plans to Employ 12,000 in Silicon Valley

Janko Roettgers
Variety

LeEco CEO YT Jia has big plans for his company’s U.S. outpost: The Chinese internet video and hardware upstart plans to employ 12,000 people in Silicon Valley, Jia said in a blog post Monday. The announcement came just two days ahead of LeEco’s official launch in the U.S.

LeEco started more than a decade ago as a video streaming service in China, and has since expanded to build TVs, mobile phones and other hardware as well. The company began its foray into the U.S. last year, and opened up an office in Silicon Valley earlier this year.

“We’ve been hiring the best and the brightest from many categories who see the Eco World as the future. We employee more than 500 in the U.S. today, with more being added each week,” Jia said in a blog post.

He said that the company has much grander plans for its Silicon Valley presence: “To accommodate this growth and to realize our vision for the future, we purchased approximately 49 acres in Santa Clara, California from Yahoo! This property will be an EcoCity that houses 12,000 employees.”

LeEco isn’t the only Chinese hardware manufacturer looking to make inroads in the U.S.. Competitor Xiaomi has also been looking to expand its market here, and recently introduced a streaming box as its first device designed for U.S. audiences.

But while Xiaomi has been measured, LeEco’s expansion is much more aggressive. Recent leaks suggest that the company will introduce at least two phones and four TV sets at its U.S. launch event this coming Wednesday. In addition, LeEco acquired U.S. TV manufacturer Vizio for $2 billion earlier this year.

In light of this heavy spending, some are wondering how the company is going to finance its U.S. expansion. Jia has in the past often used his personal stakes in LeEco subsidiaries as leverage to borrow money for new business ventures, which bears the risk of a domino effect should parts of the company fail.

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