Next year, LeEco — the so-called “Netflix of China,” best known in the U.S. as the company that paid $2 billion for Vizio — will be taking on Netflix and Hulu here in America, as announced on stage at a special event in San Francisco.
The new service, called LeEco Live, will include shows from partners like Showtime, and movies from partners like Lionsgate. It will launch early next year, but we have no information about price or specific availability.
LeEco is hyping up its existing partnerships in show business, thanks to its core business in China, as a big key to stocking the new service with TV shows and movies people will actually want to watch.
LeEco started off as a streaming video service, but has since expanded to TVs, virtual reality headsets, smartphones, and even electric car concepts.
The company says LeEco Live is designed to work with all of those devices, with a consistent experience across all of them — in a demo, LeEco showed someone using a two finger-swipe to take a Showtime video playing on their LeEco smartphone and seamlessly stream it to their Vizio TV.
Netflix, especially, is relatively entrenched in America, so it won’t be easy for LeEco to break in. But LeEco is already dominating China, and that might be enough momentum to give LeEco Live a fighting shot when it launches in early 2017.
In general, LeEco is making a huge push into the American markets, including with smartphones and TVs. So watch this space.
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