China’s online video streamer LeTV launched its smart phone at simultaneous events in Beijing and San Francisco last night, in a play to introduce U.S. consumers to the Chinese company, despite the new LeTV phones not being available in the U.S. until later this year.

If you know the Chinese smart TV market, you’ll know that LeTV always tries to keep everything high profile – no matter how weird. Their latest launch was no exception. Photos of the new phone were leaked by Chinese celebrities on social media long before the event happened. CEO Jia Yueting even controversially posted a picture on Weibo of Hitler wearing an Apple T-shirt  in a misguided attempt to create buzz for the brand.

According to Mark Li, who is guiding the company’s entry into the U.S. market, the dual-city launch event was designed to introduce the U.S. to the LeTV ecosystem. “We don’t just sell the content but the experience, and we wanted the U.S. to know about how great LeTV is”, said Li.

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Charlie Sheng

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at) technode.com