According to a new report from Reuters, LeEco is said to be seeking a buyer for the 49-acre swath in Silicon Valley set for the site of its future US headquarters. The Chinese electronics polymath highlighted its plans for EcoCity back in October, during its ambitious stateside debut, but a number of recent financial setbacks may have changed those plans.
The report cites anonymous sources claiming that the company is looking for a new buyer for the Santa Clara, California site it picked up from Yahoo in hopes of housing 12,000 US employees in a state of the art facility built to propel its aggressive push into the States that also includes the recent acquisition of budget TV maker Vizio and an English language film production company.
Since LeEco took the wraps off its US plans during an ostentatious event in San Francisco, troubling financial headlines have plagued the company. A mere month after the US debut, cofounder Jia Yueting told his staff that he would be cutting his salary to $0.15 annually as it reassessed a tremendous growth pace that found it moving from Netflix-style video streaming to major movie financing and plans to build an electric car in a short space of time.
The company has waved away the media’s interpretation that the letter marked financial struggles for a company that simply flew too close to the sun. Rather, as North American operations lead Brian Hui told a crowd at a TechCrunch event back in November, “If you read the letter, it’s not about whether it’s sustainable or not sustainable. It’s not about running out of money. It’s how you can spend your money wisely.”
Earlier this month, the company was once again on the defensive, acknowledging that it would be slashing its staff in India, while denying reports that it was set to pull out of the country altogether, writing in a statement, “India is one the most strategic markets for LeEco and hence there is no exit plan.”
LeEco has responded similarly to the new Reuters report. The company has provided TechCrunch with a non-denial denial of sorts, stating, “We’ve always envisioned EcoCity would be an open environment that would be a place for our employees, our partners and the community to collaborate. LeEco has been working to identify additional investors as well as a development partner but we have nothing to announce at this time.”
The company managed to raise $600 million in funding back in November, even as it was said to be running into some major hurdles in its plan to take on Tesla. Taken as a whole, the company certainly seems to be taking a good long look at its strategy moving ahead in the wake of fallout from its extremely accelerated growth.