A new competitor to Apple, Facebook and Google just moved into San Jose, and it’s already making strides to hire hundreds of Bay Area techies.
The company isn’t a start-up, either. It’s a well-established business from China called LeEco (formerly known as LeTV) specializing in, among other things, electric cars. The business has just transplanted itself into a sprawling 80-thousand square foot building on North First Street in San Jose, the site of its new headquarters.
“Obviously, Silicon Valley is a huge place for us to go,” said Shawn Williams, the Chief Administrative Officer. He revealed that the company has plans to expand its workforce by about 200, with a goal of 800 by the end of the year.
Company officials haven’t been quiet about their plans to compete with leading tech companies in Silicon Valley. LeEco’s CEO Jia Yueting said just last week that Apple was “outdated” and said the iPhone maker’s “innovation has become extremely slow.”
Williams indicated that a bit of healthy competition might be good for the Silicon Valley icons.
“(LeEco) is distruptive, in a good sense,” said Kim Walesh, the company’s San Jose Director of Economic Development. “It’s artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, smart devices – and it wants to be the biggest city in the Bay Area.”