LeEco lays off 85% employees in India

Mar 04, 2017, 00:45
LeEco lays off 85% employees in India

The company's smartphones were well-received in India, and it even launched some brilliant 4K TVs (read our review) in the country.

In its glorious days, LeEco got the better of rivals like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo with an advertising budget as high as Rs 80 crore a month. As per sources close to development, the layoffs are a precursor to the company's eventual exit from India.

Chinese electronics major LeEco has laid off almost 80 percent of its employees in India as the maker of smartphones and TVs battles a cash crunch back home. Speculations of trimming down the Indian team had started in December a year ago, when reports of LeEco India exiting offline sales of smartphones, had started creeping in; and that it would cut 1,000 in-shop temporary jobs.

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting had written an email to employees in November stating that his company had expended its cash reserves too fast by expanding into areas like smartphones and driverless cars, the report says. The company has sent out a detailed statement saying, "India is one the most strategic markets for LeEco and hence there isn't any exit plan".

The company has fired employees in both the Delhi and Mumbai offices and further plans to lay off members of its research and development staff in Bengaluru office. Already, the company has lost some of its top executives in India. "All businesses need to be profitable to be sustainable".

None of it was triggered by the alleged slump in sales due to demonetisation, he said. "That has been the primary objective in taking certain measures, though the numbers (of layoffs) indicated are incorrect", Li said.

The report citing one senior executive working with a leading e-commerce marketplace that does business with LeEco said the company is preparing to exit India as it has been struggling to find a winning formula, with demonetisation further hurting sales.

The news comes four months after Jia Yueting, CEO, LeEco, had in a letter to Reuters accepted the firm was facing "big company disease" after having expanded at an "unprecedented rate".

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