China’s Letv eyes smart devices, e-vehicles space in India

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Chinese technology firm LeTV said on Friday that it is looking to invest in the smart devices and e-vehicles space in India.

According to informed sources, the company is evaluating plans to set up an electric vehicle manufacturing unit to tap into the Digital India opportunity through which the Indian government is on a mission to get 5 to 7 million electric cars on the roads by 2020. LeTV wants to become an intrinsic part of this objective.

Also, it is looking to launch several smart devices including smartphones, tablets and TVs.

“If we come to India, which is possibly by the end of the year to the first half of 2016, then we will come in a big way. Keeping the manufacturing unit aside, we will invest something to the tune of $50-$100 million here and hire at least 50-60 people,” a source in the know of things told IANS.

Letv has also tied up with Aston Martin and BAIC Motor Corporation on its first electric vehicle. The name of ambitious electric project is Super Electric Eco-system (SEE), wherein LeTV will provide its software (UI) support called LeUI inside the car with 9-inch touch display for ease of use.

The implementation of its own software ecosystem enables user to make use of LeTV smartphone to control the vehicle akin to what has been seen in James Bond movies.

“Most people in India probably haven’t heard of LeTV yet, but indications are that LeTV would soon build up a presence here to tap into one of the fastest growing markets for smart phones and other smart devices, with plans to start selling its streaming service and devices,” the company had earlier said in a statement.

The Beijing-headquartered company, which recently started its operation in US, has nearly 10,000 employees and has a market capitalisation of around $12 billion on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. There are over 12 sub-brands under the company which includes movies, music, sports, eletronic items and gaming devices.

According to the source, Letv already has finished a round of discussions with the ministry of external affairs and had also talked to several state governments for setting up its vehicle manufacturing facility.

As a part of its expansion plans in India, the company is looking partner with e-commerce, e-marketing and production houses to customise goods and services.

“Although we are still growing in China, we are now focusing on making Letv a global brand. India, Russia and Europe are in our expansion plans. India is the second most important overseas market after Hong Kong in Asia Pacific,” the source said.

In addition, the source also said that the company would also see that there were no privacy or security concerns as faced by users with some Chinese brands. “We are going to keep the data here locally and hence there cannot be any sabotage,” the source said.

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