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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.

The Phone

The company officially announced its new Le Superphone with large screens in different sizes. LeTV emphasized the USB type-C connector and bezel-less display on their Le Superphone. It runs on a Snapdragon 810 processor with a 21-megapixel camera and a 3,000 mAh battery. The Le Superphone also has two upgraded versions in different sizes which will be on the Chinese market later.

Like other Android phone manufactures in China, LeTV has also built its own operating system which is called EUI 5.

Expanding into the U.S.

LeTV now has two U.S. offices, in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We believe in the power of the three cities [Beijing, Los Angeles and San Francisco – also referred to as the “BLS strategy” inside the company]. Beijing is the fastest growing market for consumers, Los Angeles is the biggest factory for content globally, and San Francisco is the centre for innovation and technology. It’s fantastic that we can build platform, content and technology in the best places,” Mark Li said.

Last year the company announced its global expansion plan, and this time it made the announcement again especially for the U.S. CEO Jia Yueting said “I just can’s see any reason why we can’t succeed in the US. We’ve got everything required to do well.” Though the new Le Superphone won’t officially take off in the U.S. until the end of the year, the company said they were confident they would win over American consumers.

“We won’t launch anything that is not perfect at LeTV. Everything got to be super,” Li said.

Photo and Video: LeTV

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)

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)

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