LeTV has signed an agreement on acquiring 70 percent stakes in China ride-hailing app Yongche.com, becoming the controlling shareholder of the young start-up firm, according to a company news release on October 20.
The deal would technically make Yongche.com a “unicorn” – a tribe of privately held tech firms with valuations of at least $1 billion, supposedly forming the elite of the current generation of start-ups.
Yongche.com is also a struggling company, facing up against larger, better-funded rivals like domestic ride-hailing market leader Didi Kuaidi, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. among others, and the U.S. firm Uber Technologies Inc.
The deal is part of LeTV’s expansion into the vehicle market. The company, which also develops Internet television and smartphones, has been working on an electric vehicle project named super electric eco-system (SEE) since December.
“After acquiring Yongche.com, LeTV has completed its layout in R&D, manufacture and sales of connected electric vehicles, telematics, vehicle charging strategy, aftersales service and car sharing and socialized operation,” said Jia Yueting, chairman and CEO of LeTV.