Ayla Networks, the California-headquartered internet-of-things solution provider, announced today that Jeff Xiong, former co-CTO at Tencent, has joined the company’s advisory board.

Noting the burgeoning internet-of-things trend in China, Ayla Networks set up an office in Shenzhen, China’s electronics manufacturing hub, in the first half of this year, and raised US$14.5 million from investors including some Chinese investment firms.

Ayla Networks creates Ayla-enabled chipsets, mobile app development and Cloud-based services to connect any device to the internet.

Ayla China has had several Chinese clients such as Yifang and Devotion Boilers, and is working on a WeChat hardware platform. There are several competitors emerging in China but the market is generally at the early stage.

Jeff Xiong believes Ayla Networks’ technologies and experience are three years ahead of the standard in China. He pointed out that, thanks to the manufacturing capabilities of Shenzhen, and Chinese consumers’ willingness to embrace smart hardware, increasingly more devices in our daily life will be connected, and solution providers like Ayla will be thus much in demand.

Xiong joined Tencent in 2005 as co-CTO, leaving in November 2013 to found 7 Seas Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early stage cross-border tech companies in China and the U.S. He said that 7 Seas Ventures would possibly join Ayla Networks’s next fund-raising round.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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