Chinese Multinational LeEco Fires 85% Indian Workforce, Plans To Exit India

The company's smartphones were well-received in India, and it even launched some brilliant 4K TVs (read our review) in the country. The company, which had a massive advertising budget of Rs. 80 crore a month, stopped selling its products through offline retail stores in December.

LeEco sells smartphones and televisions in India, being a global internet company.

Chinese technology gaint LeEco has fired 85 per cent of its employees, including two senior leaderships, in its India unit and may eventually exit the country. Indian sales also nosedived after the November currency swap, hastening the decision, they said.

India Chief Operating Officer Alex Li denied any plans to exit the country; he did confirm the exit of two top executives. Both the Mumbai and Delhi offices of the company are said to be left with minimal staff, while firings are on in its Bengaluru research and development centres.

In November 2016, LeEco CEO Jia Yueting in a letter to employees said the company is facing a shortage of cash as it is trying to expand too fast and in too many directions. "All this certainly does not signal a company in wind-up mode", the statement read. A few months back, the Chinese company confirmed that it is experiencing a major financial crunch.

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"The resource head count in India is well aligned to the scale of operations envisioned and in line with industry benchmarks", it added.

The latest development comes months after LeEco's one of the founders Jia Yueting admitted "blindly" speeding ahead and that the company had run out of the cash. "So, LeEco has found it is neither here nor there", the person told the newspaper.

The smartphone maker made a big splash in India past year when it launched a range of smartphones, TVs and content services alongside a lavish advertising campaign.

"The Indian operations will undoubtedly adopt a laser- sharp focus on overall organisational efficiency, capacity- building and talent nurturing while remaining unwaveringly committed to maintaining a sustainable and profitable business model", LeEco said.

Reportedly, the sales slump following demonetisation affected the company very badly.

  • Adam Floyd