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Unread 2016-10-19, 08:30 PM   #1
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Default LeEco’s LeSEE Pro autonomous concept makes troubled debut



Something was clearly wrong when, rather than riding onto the stage in the LeEco autonomous car, CEO YT Jiang instead jogged down the catwalk in a flurry of smoke. No, the eye-catching concept hadn’t caught fire behind the scenes. In fact, the saga of how Chinese behemoth and US market hopeful LeEco tried and failed to have its most dramatic product in front of media at its San Francisco coming out party was all the stranger.

Thus began a 20+ minute mea-culpa by Jiang, translated from Chinese, in which the LeEco founder described the comedy of errors that saw the original LeSEE concept fatally damaged en-route from Los Angeles. Unable to repair it in time, LeEco looked to London, UK: that’s where the brand new LeSEE Pro concept has a starring role in the new Transformers movie. Cue a fairly stilted Michael Bay video in which he waxed anything-but-lyrically about the second-generation prototype, and insisted he wouldn’t be returning it.



Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYuL-sLN0y4


Only, as it turns out, he did. LeEco snatched the LeSEE Pro, thrust it onto a suitably-sized jet, and in a matter of hours had it brought from the UK to California. Finally, snatching defeat from the jaws of an unlikely triumph, they couldn’t actually get the car onto the stage, hence Jiang’s unexpected jog into the limelight.
The official unveil took place after the press conference, a fierce crowd of people eager to get a glimpse of LeEco’s silvery monster. At first glance, you could be forgiven for not seeing much difference from the original LeSee – may it rest in pieces – that was first shown off in April at the Beijing Auto Show. Both have vaguely amorphous lines and a gaping maw, giving the car hints of cyborg axolotl.

Ask LeEco, and the actual differences between the two cars are fairly clandestine. Describing it as a “second-generation vision” of what the company believes the future of autonomous vehicle will be, exact details are correspondingly hard to come by. “You can assume,” a LeEco spokesperson told me, that it’s “more advanced” than its predecessor.
Amidst the nebulous technology there’s a set of clamshell doors on each side revealing a predominantly black and white interior that’s ribbed like an accordion. The steering wheel retracts in self-driving mode, allowing the “driver” to join their fellow occupants in enjoying the in-car entertainment. Of course, that’s really the crux of the LeSEE Pro.

LeEco, after all, is all about its “vertical integration” and its ecosystem of media. The car is, simply, another place you could be enjoying its streaming on-demand and live content. If that car needs to be autonomous in order to release another set of eyeballs, then so be it.
The LeSEE Pro promises to be less calculating than LeEco itself. It’ll apparently be able to track mood and facial expressions, tailoring itself and its driving behaviors to the emotions of the people inside. Bright lights in the grilles will express the car’s personality to other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians.

NOW READ: The big risk of China’s Apple-wannabe
The drivetrain is another mystery, though LeEco says it envisages the LeSEE and LeSEE Pro as being fully electric. Given the firm has invested into Faraday Future, which is working on its own modular EV platform, that doesn’t come as too great a surprise. LeEco says there’ll be inductive charging, too, for making the recharging process more straightforward than having to physically plug in a cable.
Instead, you’ll presumably just park atop a special pad. A port in the front wing will accept a plugged-in charger cable for on-the-go top-ups. Jiang highlighted the smog problem in Beijing, where LeEco has its head office, as a primary reason for ditching fossil fuels and adopting electric motors instead.

This is all very much still at the concept stage. LeEco wouldn’t open the car up, and so I couldn’t get my hands on any of the interior touchscreens or other controls. To what extent they actually operate is questionable. Similarly, neither the Michael Bay clip or anything at today’s event showed the car itself in motion.
LeEco isn’t saying when we could be able to expect a production version and, given the ongoing challenges everybody in the self-driving car space faces for developing Level 4 Autonomy software, it seems unlikely they’ll get there any time soon. However, Faraday Future does have some news on the horizon.

Jiang revealed that the startup automaker plans to show off a production car – its first, indeed – at CES 2017 next January. Considering how much both companies have talked up the modular platform, suited so its said for everything from a short-range city car to road-trip-ready long distance cruiser, that’s something plenty of people in the auto industry are looking forward to with interest.
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Unread 2016-12-29, 11:17 PM   #2
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LeEco Breaks Ground On Chinese Factory Despite The Fact It Can't Legally Produce Cars Yet: Report





Depending on who you ask, the Chinese billionaire bolstering Faraday Future’s operations has no money. But LeEco, whose owner Jia Yuentig is behind the Silicon Valley car startup, reportedly received $1.44 billion from an unidentified investor on the same day it broke ground on a new electric car factory in China.


The South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday that LeEco, the Chinese tech giant intermingled with Faraday Future’s saga, has started work on a new electric car factory that will have the capacity to produce upward of 400,000 vehicles by 2018. Across the Pacific, work has been stalled since November on the LeEco-backed megafactory in Nevada for Faraday Future.
Jia wasn’t at the ceremony in China, however. Electrek reported that he’s in California, where he has taken the helm of FF as of last week. And if that’s not enough, CarNewsChina said that LeEco hasn’t yet received a legally-required government license to produce cars. The website politely referred to this as “a risky strategy.”










“Jia is not very popular in Beijing at the moment, so there is a real possibility the license will be refused,” CarNewsChina wrote.

For Faraday, the groundbreaking for LeEco’s new factory comes at a curious moment. Last week, two high-profile executives fled the company, and it emerged this week that Ding Lei, a top LeEco exec who reportedly ran FF, also left the company. All of this, within days of what’s being pegged as a make-or-break moment for the company.
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Unread 2017-12-27, 11:16 AM   #3
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It’s Pretty Unlikely You’ll Ever See A LeEco LeSEE Go On Sale


There goes that dream.
The continual burn of Jia Yueting, founder of Chinese tech giant LeEco and head of Faraday Future, due to cloudy cash handling practices only seems to be proceeding forward. This time around, Yueting has been summoned back to China by the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to sort out his debt and “fulfill his obligation” to protect investors’ rights, according to Reuters. And the worst part? This isn’t the first time the CSRC has asked Yueting to return to China.



Yueting was summoned back in September but gave no response to the request, prompting China to give him until December 31st to return to China or else. “Firms you control owe huge amounts to listed companies, which has not yet been returned,” the CSRC said to Yueting. “This behavior seriously harms the legal rights of listed firms and the personal interests of a wide range of investors.” Unfortunately for Yueting, the move only exacerbates the notion that he’s fallen from the ranks of one of China’s most important entrepreneurs, responsible for multiple tech businesses including a smartphone company and the Tesla-fighting LeSEE and Faraday Future, to a debtor who is unable to get finances in order.


Yueting’s problems have gotten so bad that Chinese courts put him on blacklist of debt defaulters in an effort to get him to start paying down his debts. Reuters contacted a spokeswoman for LeEco’s holding group Leshi and heard that Yueting’s behavior shouldn’t have a major effect on its operations since he has stepped down as CEO of Leshi. However, he is still the head of LeEco and Faraday Future, which are still in trouble. Earlier this month, a story emerged that claimed Yueting took $75 million from Faraday Future and stuffed it into a trust fund for his family. His accuser went as far as to say that Yueting’s company is a Ponzi scheme. All of this goes to say that it doesn’t seem likely we’ll see the fruits of Yueting’s labor anytime soon.


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Unread 2018-06-05, 09:55 AM   #4
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Travel Ban Issued To LeEco’s Former CEO In China Due To Debt


Jia Yueting, the former Chief Executive Officer of LeEco, and his sister Jia Yuefang, have both been prohibited by the Chinese government from traveling by plane for a year. Moreover, their ability to use the country’s railway system has been limited for the next 12 months and they are also prohibited from traveling using China’s luxury air and railway services. The siblings are among the 169 individuals listed on the China Credit website who are prohibited from riding the railway and air transport systems of the East Asian country. They are joined in the list by other Chinese citizens who have failed to pay their taxes, engaged in fraudulent activities, refused to purchase train tickets, or smoked inside a train coach. In the case of Jia Yueting and his sister, they have been restricted from traveling within China due to their inability to settle their debts and other financial obligations. In fact, Jia Yueting has repeatedly appeared in the list of individuals who have defaulted on their debt payments.

Jia Yueting’s financial troubles are attributed to LeEco’s aggressive expansion efforts. To finance the company’s expansion plans, the tech firm borrowed around $6 billion from different financial institutions. However, a number of projects that the company invested in failed to provide enough funds to pay for the tech firm’s maturing loans, forcing the business to default on its loan payments.
The Chinese government has repeatedly stepped in to resolve LeEco’s inability to repay its loans. Chinese courts have already frozen some of the assets of LeEco, Leshi Holdings, Leshi Internet Information & Technology Co., and other related companies after these businesses failed to repay their loans. A Shanghai-based court has frozen a total of $182 million in assets in July 2017 while a Beijing court granted the request of the China Construction Bank to freeze another $37 million in assets a month later. Meanwhile, back in January, the China Securities Regulatory Commission has issued an order for LeEco’s founder to return to China and personally settle the company’s debts with its suppliers and creditors, although Jia Yueting refused to follow the order, stating that he needs to remain in the United States to raise funds for the electric vehicle firm Faraday Future.
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