NEW DELHI: Chinese internet and technology company Letv has entered India with niche products, including a smart cycle that has its own operating system and a 3D virtual reality helmet. The Beijing-headquartered company, which will bring a suite of products to India over the next few months, also plans to launch smartphones, which it considers key to making inroads into the country.
“We want to approach the market by not just launching one single type of product,” Dickson Lee, general manager – smart devices for Asia Pacific at Letv, told ET. “Mobile phone is definitely the key focus. We want to sell a complete ecosystem.”
In the next 6-8 months or longer, we will have a lot many products, which we want to bring to this market.” He said India is one of Letv’s biggest focus markets for the next two to three years. “We want to become the market leader here in a very short time,” he said.
Leshi Internet Information and Technology, better known as Letv, is one of the largest online video entertainment companies in China. Started in 2004, it has expanded into film and video production, and distribution, like peers Netflix in the US and Youku Tudou in China.
With its core in providing online video content, Letv has ventured into smart televisions, connected super-electric cars and ecommerce over the years, and launched smartphones only last year. This puts Letv in direct competition with Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, its rivals at home and in the Indian smartphone market. “Letv’s is trying to position itself as not just another smartphone player enter-ing the country highlighting spec versus price points but rather as an internet and software community with strong content as its core strength,” said Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.
While phones and televisions become a way of delivering video, it is unclear at whether, and when, Letv will bring the video content service to India. Devices integrated with content are Letv’s unique selling point and sales model in China. “We expect LeTV to create an ecosystem and using hardware as a distribution model to leverage the content created across various segments through which it will hook the end users on to its devices,” Pathak added.
Letv’s entry comes at a time when customers are getting a taste of pre-loaded content on high-speed data networks.
Idea Cellular’s 4G customers will get ErosNow’s bundled services, including movies, music and television content, while Reliance Jio is already talking about offering multitude of content-related services on top of its 4G services, which are set to be launched commercially. Highspeed data on 4G networks, including that of Airtel and Vodafone, will add to the uptake of content on mobile phones.
Letv sells all its products back home through its portal LeMall-.com. The company is setting up an India portal, through which it will sell its products here, said Anish Kapoor, head of mobile business sales in India at Letv.