Last week the China Securities Regulatory Commission ordered LeEco founder Jia Yueting back to the country to answer for debt the company has defaulted on during the past year. This was a bit of an unusual move in being so public and specific. After being off the radar for a while, Jia has surfaced in response to the demand. He did not return to China as requested though, sending family to deal with the problems instead. In a bit of a stunner, Jia also revealed that the company is working to secure 3 billion yuan ($462 million USD) in financing for the smart TV division of LeEco.
In response to the summons from the CSRC, Jia issued a statement via his Weibo account saying he was staying in the U.S. to oversee matters related to Faraday & Future Inc. That company is working on an electric vehicle. According to Jia’s statement:
“I’m deeply sorry and I blame myself for the huge negative impact the debt crisis of LeEco has brought. The financing of U.S.-based FF has made great progress and there is immense work that requires me to guarantee on-time mass production and delivery of FF 91 EV.”
Despite blaming himself in his post, Jia sent his brother and his wife to stand in his place before the Chinese authorities. According to Jia, his brother met with regulators last Friday, December 29th. Subsequent to that meeting, Leshi, the service arm of LeEco, filed a statement today saying it has not resolved debt problems. Even though major credit issues are outstanding, one of the company’s units has plans to buy the Lemall.com online business for 92.9 million yuan ($14 million USD) and hopes to raise 3 billion yuan for the smart TV business unit allegedly valued at 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion USD).
Along with explaining his commitment to staying in the U.S. Jia also claimed in his Weibo post that all of the problem LeEco experienced were due to a single late payment in July that triggered an avalanche of negative consequences along with “false and malicious” reports surrounding LeEco.