- Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
- Jia Yueting, the billionaire tech entrepreneur who now controls the electric-car startup Faraday Future, may have to give up a piece of the company and several others in which he owns a stake.
- Leshi Internet Information and Technology, a publicly traded business Jia founded in China, wants an equity stake in the automotive upstarts in which Jia is a shareholder – which include Faraday Future, LeSEE, and Lucid Motors – because of debts owed by Jia and the embattled tech conglomerate LeEco.
Tech billionaire Jia Yueting, the man who founded the electronics conglomerate LeEco and operates the electric-car startup Faraday Future, is being pursued by another company he founded because of unpaid debts in China.
Leshi Internet Information and Technology, a Shenzen, China-based business Jia founded in 2004, alleges that Jia and LeEco owe the company about $1.17 billion (7.5 billion yuan), Reuters reported this week, citing comments Leshi officials made during an investor briefing. Leshi is the publicly listed arm of LeEco. LeEco disputed the amount Leshi says it owes, saying the total is roughly $941 million (6 billion yuan).
Jia resigned as chairman and CEO of Leshi in July 2017, but he holds a 25.67% stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder, according to Reuters.
As a form of repayment, Leshi is seeking an equity stake in several electric-car startups in which Jia is a shareholder, including Faraday Future, LeSEE, and Lucid Motors.
The Los Angeles-based Faraday Future recently announced Jia would take over as CEO. LeSEE is an offshoot of Faraday Future. Lucid Motors is based in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Newark, about 10 miles from Tesla’s Fremont factory.
Business Insider has reached out to Faraday Future for comment. A Lucid Motors spokesperson declined to comment on the Reuters report.
LeEco’s business has all but crumbled worldwide under mounting debts. In the last year, a Chinese court froze millions of dollars in assets belonging to Jia and his associates that were linked to a loan for a LeEco subsidiary.
Jia, who now lives in the tony Southern California beach suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes, has vowed to repay the debts, but rejected a Chinese regulator’s order to return to China to sort out the mess. He sent his wife and brother instead.