LeTV, Leshi Internet Information and Technology, has made a huge $700 million dollar investment in the Yidao Yongche, which is a Beijing based chauffeured rental car service provider. The company is reportedly buying 70% shares holding in the car rental company. At one time Yidao was going to collaborate with Uber, now it looks like it will give a tough competition to the leaders in the car rental service market.
The investment is a bigger part of the plan, as LeTV forays into online to offline products, local services, digital content and smart devices system. Few plans have already been started like Android smartphones and Smart TVs business while it was recently confirmed that company is also foraying into Virtual Reality headset business with LeVR.
Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder of the Leshi, video streaming service is expanding into the vehicle market with investment in Yidao Yongche. This was not the first time that Internet giant is making a move to the vehicle’s market. Last year, Mr Yueting rolled out the plans for his electric car. The 42-year old was talking about the building smart connected cars that would run on electricity, similar to Tesla. Specifically he quoted that their Electric car would surpass the Tesla’s Model S in everything. We still have to see how that pans out.
Letv’s founder Mr. Jia Yueting also confirmed the news on his social media account. “After establishing cooperation with Aston Martin and BAIC Motor and investing in DZ company (a leading charging pole infrastructure company), this strategic investment in Yidao Car Services means Letv has completed its mapping in the internet-based smart electric car industry, including fields like R&D, manufacturing, sales, auto-network, charging infrastructure, after-sales, car-sharing and public running and so on.”
Let’s talk about the Yidao Yongche’s market share in the country. The ride sharing market is very big in the country and Yidao doesn’t come close to the first two leaders. The major business in the country is done by Didi Kuadi, which is valued at whooping $15 billion, controls about 80% of the market. The Uber has around 15% of the market share that positions it to the second place while the Yidao Yongche has 2.7% market share.
Yi Dao Car Services provides car-hailing services at 77 Chinese metro cities and 24 overseas cities like New York, Tokyo, Sydney, London and Vancouver.Other than expanding into the automotive industry you can see LeTV making smartphones, televisions and smart bicycles. Moreover, company is planning to enter in the United States with its online store.