It was rumored, and now it's official. LeEco, a Chinese tech company, is buying VIZIO for $2 billion. LeEco held an event in Los Angeles today to make the news official. VIZIO is an American TV manufacturer, and with LeEco picking them up, they are instantly getting a pretty large piece of the US television market. VIZIO, despite being acquired, will still continue to exist. LeEco is going to have them operating under them as an independent subsidiary. The current plan is for VIZIO's management team to stay in place and will continue to work out of their Southern California offices. Meanwhile, Inscape which is VIZIO's data business, will be turned into a privately held company. VIZIO's CEO William Wang will be the chairman and CEO of that privately held company.
LeEco has been looking to bring their talents into the US lately. At CES earlier this year, they debuted a few new smartphones, and shortly after renamed themselves from LeTV to LeEco. The company is now in a prime position to start offering up their products in the US for Americans to purchase. The company isn't popular among Americans, but with the help of the Vizio acquisition, that should change. And change pretty quickly.
The company is expecting the deal for VIZIO to close in the fourth quarter of this year. While LeEco is planning to let Vizio continue to run as an independent subsidiary, the question here is whether VIZIO's smart TV's will continue to run their own software or run LeEco's own smart TV software. This could also mean that VIZIO might start selling LeEco's smartphones in the US under the Vizio brand. A bit like what Motorola and Lenovo have done since their deal was made official in 2014.
Regarding the news, LeEco's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, YT Jia stated "LeEco believes in breakthrough technologies, a complete ecosystem and disruptive pricing. Acquiring VIZIO is an important step in our globalization strategy and building our North American presence." Building their presence in North America seems to be important for just about any company coming out of China or Asia. As North America is where the real growth is.