Only July 26, 2016 LeEco announced it would purchase Vizio Inc. for $2 billion. The aquisition was announced by Vizio CEO William Wang to an audience of colleagues, investors, and journalists. Wang was visibly emotional as he broke the news.
“This is the modern story of how David took on Goliath,” said Wang.
“I have mixed feelings. As the owner and father of Vizio, I am very reluctant to let it go. But as the CEO and owner of the company, I know this is the right decision to make for our hard-working employees and loyal shareholders.”
LeEco is an unfamiliar name to most Americans but has a very large presence in China. Described as the “Netflix of China” LeEco has a streaming service which features it’s own original movies and TV shows. However LeEco’s streaming service actually began 3 years before Netflix’s.
LeEco creates it’s own TV shows and movies under the name Le Vision Pictures. It created the series Go Princess Go which is wildly popular in China. It’s first major English-language film is the The Great Wall starring Matt Damon. It is the most expensive film ever shot in China.
LeEco also makes a large variety of physical products for the Chinese market including mobile phones, bicycles, electric cars, and Smart TVs.
Vizio is the second largest seller of TVs in the US with a 20% market share. Acquiring Vizio gives LeEco an a secure position in the US to introduce it’s own services and hardware.
Now that LeEco is in the US it plans on building it’s presence here. LeEco plans on making a streaming service available in the US and creating content for the US market. The company has a tough road ahead of it considering the US market is already crowded with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc.
Vizio will now be operated as an independent subsidiary. The Company’s current executive team plan on staying but Vizio Founder and CEO William Wang will soon be exiting the company. He will now be CEO of Inscape, Vizio’s data business.
LeEco Senior Vice President Winston Cheng promised that LeEco would retain all current Vizio Employees.