China’s LeEco buys US TV maker Vizio for $2B

By : |July 27, 2016 0

Chinese tech company, LeEco (formerly LeTV) is buying American TV maker Vizio for $2 billion, Vizio announced at an event in Los Angeles yesterday. Despite the buy-out, Vizio would continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, with the company’s current executive team staying in place and working out of its offices in Southern California without its founder and CEO William Wang, who is leaving the company.

The exception to this is its viewer data business Inscape which will spin off and operate as a separate privately-owned company controlled by Vizio founder William Wang. Wang will own 51 percent of Inscape, with the rest going to LeEco attached to a 10-year license for the technology, which monitors what people are actually watching on their TV to help with things like targeted advertising.

CIOL Chinese tech company LeEco buys Vizio for $2B

Wang has played a crucial role in Vizio’s fourteen-year journey rapidly building it into one of the largest TV companies by selling flat panel displays at a lower price than the competition.

“I have mixed feelings,” he admitted about the deal. “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.”

While LeEco may not be a familiar name to many US customers, the company has been making headlines for several years by trying its hand at pretty much everything in the consumer electronics sphere.

LeEco announced plans to invest heavily in R&D for the division, while Vizio CTO Matt McRae promised to continue the company’s strategy of delivering connected, multiscreen technology at affordable prices. The combination brings together the largest TV brand in China with the second largest one in the US, and it should be interesting to see what that combined might can do.

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