This Electric Tesla-Fighter from China Just Majorly Effed Up Its U.S. Debut

Being able to move would have helped.

LeSee_Side motion.jpg

Photo: Le Eco

Chinese consumer electronics conglomerate LeEco suffered embarrassment at its U.S. debut in San Francisco when company founder Jia Yueting walked onstage and admitted that he had planned to be driven out in LeEco’s LaSEE electric autonomous car instead. (Check out the awkwardness below starting at about 1:20.)

“It shouldn’t be me running out here, we didn’t have any other choice,” he said, according to an account on Inside EVs. What we wanted was me in the car, and the autonomous car drives me out.”

Photo: Le Eco

Trouble is, apparently, the car wasn’t ready for the job, even though the dry ice vapor was billowing forth for the dramatic unveil. The company blamed the no-show on problems shipping the car to the venue, but then the LeSEE appeared in LeEco’s experience center off-stage, which suggests that it was simply not able to perform as intended, said Inside EVs.

Photo: Le Eco

If you haven’t heard of LeEco, you will. That’s because they are a Chinese electronics titan, bent on penetrating the U.S. market for televisions, phones, virtual reality headsets, bicycles and, yes, autonomous electric cars. All of these devices will comprise LeEco’s planned ecosystem of devices that will all coordinate through its cloud services.

Photo: Le Eco

With the Chinese government’s recently announced plan to develop “all-encompassing profiles” of internet users, we don’t see how becoming entirely dependent on a Chinese industrial giant’s eco system could become problematic. At all.


Dan Carney