LeEco’s bid to bring its consumer electronics/media distribution business to the U.S. has been troubled, but now it looks like the company is focusing on providing Chinese-language content to U.S. consumers.
The company says it now has partnerships with many U.S. Chinese TV stations and is adding local Chinese content to its existing Chinese film and TV content available through Letv.
LeEco’s Open Eco platform is built to offer Chinese users in the U.S. access to content from providers and creators, and to connect LeEco’s business partners directly to Chinese households in the U.S. LeEco has added content from Sky Link TV, ICN TV Network, Dingding TV, UChannelTV, Wall Street Multimedia, OX3 TV Production, GCTV, Singtao TV and others to its platform.
"LeEco is the first Chinese Internet company to provide tailored products, services and content to the Chinese community in the U.S.," said Qing Ye, vice president of smart devices GTM in North America for LeEco, in a statement. "As China's most innovative Internet-based ecosystem company and a leading distributor of Chinese language content, LeEco is the company that is best suited to bring Chinese film and TV content and powerful devices to meet the needs of this unique and growing community."
The announcement comes about 6 months after LeEco’s splashy U.S. intro, during which LeEco played up the content partnerships—including Lionsgate, MGM, A+E, Showtime, Scripps, Hearst and more—it had secured for its EcoPass VOD service.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer took the stage at the launch event to praise the work his studio has already done with LeEco. Feltheimer said that some Lionsgate films did better in China than they did in the U.S. because of LeEco’s help with distribution. He also announced that Lionsgate has licensed a “significant amount” of content for LeEco’s U.S. video service.
Jump ahead to earlier this month, and EcoPass has been shut down. LeEco confirmed to TechCrunch that it had shuttered the beta program for the platform and replaced it with three free months of DirecTV Now for customers who purchase LeEco smartphones and TVs.