Chinese tech company Leshi Internet Information and Technology, or LeEco for short, has been on the rise in recent years. In July, they acquired Vizio for a whopping $2 billion USD. Now, in an official press release, LeEco announced that former Huawei president Richard Ren will be joining LeEco as President of Smart Devices for Overseas and North American operations, as well as residing as President of LeEco's North American business branch.
Richard Ren previously served as President of Western Europe Consumer Business Group for Huawei Technologies for five years. With the switch to LeEco, Ren brings on a vast amount of knowledge from his experience in the tech industry.
"As President of LeEco Smart Devices, Ren is in charge of the end-to-end Smart Devices businesses for North America, Asia Pacific, Russia and Eastern Europe," LeEco announced in a press release dated Sept 22nd, 2016. "As Acting President of LeEco North America, Ren will be in charge of all North America vertical businesses in North America, including smart devices (TV, smartphones, virtual reality, Super Bike, accessories, etc.), content, platforms and supporting functions."
Not unlike Cineplex's acquisition of New Jersey-based Tricorp Amusements, LeEco's hiring of Richard Ren suggests a strong move into the North American market through the new hire. However, LeEco seems particularly interested in expanding their smart devices line. Now is quite the opportune time, too. With smart devices coming into their own in recent years, LeEco enters the North American market with the perfect opportunity to gain a foothold. Not to mention, the virtual reality bubble continues to grow, with the upcoming PlayStation VR headed to store shelves this October.
Granted, a report from this past month suggests that PC virtual reality sales are coming to a stand-still. But smart devices have been adapted by Apple recently as well, and the move towards automation falls in line with the smartphone's popularity over the past 10 years. LeEco seems to be serious about taking hold in the North American market, and a former Huwaei executive is quite the hire in that regard.