A court in Shanghai has “frozen $182 million in assets tied to the chairman of the Chinese technology company LeEco after one of its affiliates missed loan payments,” according to the New York Times (paywall). LeEco and its chairman, Jia Yueting 贾跃亭, are in the midst of a months-long downward spiral of risky loans and overly ambitious expansion plans. LeEco, which started as a small video-streaming company in 2004, had aimed to expand to a dizzying range of products, including drones, electric and self-driving cars, “smart” bikes, and VR headsets, while simultaneously launching an ambitious expansion program in the U.S.
For now, a spokesman for the company says it has enough collateral to cover immediate debts, but the long-term health of LeEco — and the government’s support of billionaires such as Jia — is certainly in question.
Jia may be remembered for his 2016 statements saying that Apple was “outdated” and “losing momentum.”
Xiaomi goes old school to reclaim smartphone crown in China / Bloomberg
The troubled smartphone maker is “counting on old-fashioned retail to make a comeback.”
China communist party mouthpiece slams Tencent game; shares slide / Reuters
Tencent’s mobile game Honour of Kings has more players than Pokemon Go at its peak, but the company announced earlier this week that it would limit play time on the game in response to concerns that children were becoming addicted to it.
China’s $162 billion of dealmaker debt raises alarm / Bloomberg
We may be nearing the “end of an era of easy access to money” for the likes of HNA, Fosun, Anbang, and Wanda.
China to hold high-level meeting aimed at streamlining financial regulation / WSJ (paywall)
A remote Chinese province uses its climate to grow a big data industry / NPR
Foreign movies give China’s box offices a 20 percent boost / Financial Times (paywall)
Retail boost from record number of Chinese tourists finally coming to UK / Jing Daily