LeEco will set up manufacturing and research units in India

Chinese vendor LeEco has announced plans of setting up a manufacturing and research units in India. The manufacturer will leverage the government's "Make in India initiative, which incentivises local production of hardware.

LeEco's vice chairman and co-founder Liu Hong told Indo-Asian News Service that the vendor is currently evaluating different options for its facility:

We have already applied for the single-brand retail licence with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The ministry for communications and information technology has given us options like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Raipur's electronic cluster, Bhopal and Bhilwada (Rajasthan) to set up our manufacturing base. We will evaluate all the options before finalising our manufacturing location.We are looking forward to meet the Indian Prime Minister and the Telecom Minister because we really want to contribute for 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiatives. We would like them to understand our ecosystem and support us manufacturing in the country.

The manufacturer is also looking to set up retail stores around the country, and will establish an R&D center in Bengaluru:

We plan to open 8 to 10 LeEco stores across the country as well as 500 franchise stores at an initial investment of nearly Rs. 50 crores.India has some of the best software engineers in the world. We will start with our research and development centre in Bengaluru. We would like to connect the Indian technology with our ecosystem and create products for the global users. We will make our ties more stronger.

LeEco is witnessing strong sales of the budget Le 1s, and the vendor is all set to unveil the Le 2 and Le 2 Pro in the country on May 3. By heavily investing in the market and looking to partner with regional content creators as well as roll out local CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), LeEco is aiming to become the third-largest vendor in the country:

India is now on the way China has already been and will be leading the smartphone market in the near future. The Indian consumers are demanding high-quality phones at reasonable price. We acknowledge this and see a great potential of manufacturing here.Indian users are price sensitive. Samsung and Apple are available but are highly-priced; so we sell our products at a disruptive price with high quality.Our goal is to be among the top three players in the Indian market soon. LeEco's content be it movies, dramas, reality shows, music or sports - is central to our ecosystem which we will replicate in India.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.