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Leshi becomes ‘New Leshi’ to distance itself from founder
Leshi—or to give it its current full English name, Le Shi Internet Information & Technology Corp., Beijing—is planning to change its name to New Le Shi Information & Technology Corp., Beijing, the company announced last night. (And in Chinese that’s from 乐视网信息技术(北京)股份有限公司 to 新乐视信息技术(北京)股份有限公司.) The proposed change is believed to be a sign of a complete severing of ties from founder Jia Yueting (also known at YT Jia) and to emphasize that this is a Sun Hongbin and Liang Jun led business.
Leshi is the video-streaming, listed division of LeEco group which Jia Yueting founded, but where he no longer has any titles. He remains a shareholder. Things got out of hand when what was originally a video streaming company began its massive expansion into manufacturing smartphones and TVs, plus expanding overseas.
Sunac China bankrolled LeEco in July this year to the tune of RMB 15 billion, with other investors bringing the amount up to RMB 16.8 billion; its chairman Sun Hongbin became Leshi’s new chairman and Jia was pushed out. He resigned as most of his shares had been frozen by a Shanghai court for defaulting on loans. A couple of months earlier, Liang Jun who was head of LeEco’s smart TV division, became CEO until Sun was voted in. Liang became the legal representative of Leshi instead.
A statement from New Leshi said the name change is a better reflection of the company’s strategy to develop smart TVs and the company will inherit the business model of “platform + terminal + content + application”. The company’s shares have been suspended at RMB 15.33 since April. Their stock code will stay the same but the abbreviation is expected to be updated to New Leshi.