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China Businesses The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Reality Bytes: A Highflying Tech Entrepreneur Crashes Back To Earth (wsj.com) 64

An anonymous reader shares a WSJ article: Entrepreneur Jia Yueting likes to say that Apple is outdated, China's big technology companies are innovation-killing monopolies and his company, LeEco, is the real industry disrupter. That swagger served Mr. Jia in building an empire that sprawled across seven industries, from online video content to smartphones to electric cars. By having the ambition to take on Apple, Tesla and Netflix all at once, Mr. Jia seemed to embody the boundless promise of the huge China market. And investors responded favorably. Deal makers like HNA Capital and Legend Holdings bought in, as did the city government of tech hub Shenzhen, as well as movie director Zhang Yimou and other celebrities. British sports car maker Aston Martin joined up to develop electric vehicles. The U.S. state of Nevada promised $200 million in incentives for Mr. Jia's electric car venture, Faraday Futures, to build a $1 billion plant there. And LeEco unveiled a $2 billion deal to buy U.S. TV-maker Vizio. Now, most of those deals are dead or struggling and Mr. Jia's dreams are fading away due to a cash crunch and worried creditors (could be paywalled). On Thursday he resigned as chairman of a listed unit of LeEco, Leshi Internet Information & Technology, though he will remain the chairman of the holding company. That move comes after a Shanghai court last week -- at the behest of China Merchants Bank -- froze $181 million worth of his assets and $2 billion in shares over a missed interest payment.
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Reality Bytes: A Highflying Tech Entrepreneur Crashes Back To Earth

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  • I thought Britain no longer has car makers, maybe AM is a niche (I almost think AM stayed in business per the famous spy movies). Can't read the article but there was a time when British had several car companies including the legendary Rolls Royce. I think of a documentary that discussed what happened to all these companies and some reasons why. Perhaps similar reasons why Jia Yueting bit the dust (no, he didn't chew on dirt. Only expression he has significantly less earnings than before).
    • Never mind Aston Martin, what happened to Ferguson Motors?

    • They all got sold...

      Rolls Royce got sold to BMW. They also had Rover group, including Mini and Land Rover, but have since sold off Land Rover. Bentley split off from Rolls Royce to Audi. Sterling (anyone remember them?) got sold many years ago to Honda. Aston Martin, and Jaguar got sold to Ford, though they've since divested. Vauxhall was always a part of GM to me, though recently sold to Peugot-Citroen. Lotus a part of Chinese Geely (which also owns Volvo)

      Morgan, Caterham, AC (yay, AC ace) and McLare

    • What happened? Thatcher happened.

      While in France or Germany their governments intervened to get the companies over the hump, saving jobs in the process, and the companies recovered, in the UK they just let everyone fail and get purchased.

    • WTF does he has to do with this?

      Outside of That '70s show, what's he done? A few shitty movies and an abortion of an attempt to supplant Charlie Sheen on his awful show?

    • Britain at one point didn't have any independent car manufacturers of its own, as Aston Martin was acquired by Ford in 1991. However, Ford divested it and it became an independent British company again in 2007.

      • Morgan has been independent since it was founded in 1909.

        • Morgan don't manufacture. They craft, and they do it lovingly in the traditional, time-honoured way.

          Are they up to a dozen per week yet?

          • Yes, I should have said mass-producer of automobiles. Aston Martin is over ten times the size of Morgan. According to Morgan, they current make "over 1300" a year, which would work out to over 25 a week.

  • by nwaack ( 3482871 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @04:19PM (#54766059)
    It was pretty obvious that the company bit off way more than it could chew. They did make pretty nice phones though.
  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Friday July 07, 2017 @04:32PM (#54766129)
    Curious if the submitter works with WSJ (Wall Street Journal). Not much point in sending a story that requires a subscription unless they want to increase subscribership. It would be appreciated if these types of stories were not submitted as it's irritating to those trying to read it.
  • Lot of Unicorn beating today. ''Tis the season! Earnings are just around the corner!

Your own mileage may vary.