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LeEco’s massive launch in San Francisco meets hurdles

Some many Chinese brands have drawn up ambitious plans to conquer the world in recent years, Xiaomi and Huawei to just name a few.

Chinese tech giant LeEco is no exception. The Beijing-based company had previously taken the Xiaomi route, selling only small peripherals like headphones in the US, but it held a massive launch in San Francisco last Thursday to get everyone to know that it is getting serious with the America market.

During the launch, LeEco announced it would sell lots of things starting in November, including its smartphones, its smart TVs, its smart bike, its OTT services, and even its cloud storage.

“We are creating a new path forward, one where an open ecosystem creates tremendous opportunities, and more importantly, new experiences for our users,” said Danny Bowman, LeEco North America’s chief revenue officer, kicking off the nearly two-hour presentation.

Yet response from the media is a bit lackluster so far.

“Guess how many of my American friends posted about LeEco’s US launch event on Facebook: zero,” Tech in Asia reported.

It placed its criticism primarily on the company’s decision to employ the flash sales approach, in which customers in US can not pre-order the products, but will have to stay tuned with the company’s website on November 2nd at 10 AM PT to fight for the 100,000 phones available. The tech news website commented that “flash sales only work if you have a brand”, in which LeEco was, at best, known in the US as “that company that bought Vizio”.

Similarly, Wired questioned if it can convince US customers to buy them. “The gear LeEco showed off today may not be strictly new, but it’s all new to the US market. There’s a lot of it.”

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