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乐视海外扩张受挫,放弃收购美国电视公司Vizio

更新时间:2017-4-12 19:32:21 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Deal by Chinese Tech Company LeEco for Vizio Dies
乐视海外扩张受挫,放弃收购美国电视公司Vizio

BEIJING — An ambitious Chinese technology giant with a French-sounding name burst into the United States last year with dreams of disruption.

北京——去年,一个雄心勃勃的中国科技巨头,带着一个有点像法语的名字和打破格局的梦想冲进了美国。

Called LeEco, it offered to buy Vizio, one of the biggest names in American big-screen televisions, for $2 billion. Its founder backed an American start-up that showed off a sleek electric concept car. An affiliate was gearing up for the release of “The Great Wall,” having helped to finance the $150 million film that starred Matt Damon and was intended to show that China could make its own Hollywood-style blockbusters.

这个名叫乐视控股(LeEco)的公司出价20亿美元欲收购美国最大的大屏幕电视公司之一Vizio。乐视的创始人还投资了一家美国初创公司,展示了一辆时尚的概念电动车。它的一个分公司当时正在为电影《长城》(The Great Wall)的发行做准备,该公司为这部耗资1.5亿美元、由马特·达蒙(Matt Damon)主演的电影投入了资金,旨在表明中国可以制造自己的好莱坞风格大片。

Today, LeEco is in retreat. On Tuesday, it said the $2 billion Vizio deal would not go through, citing unspecified “regulatory headwinds.” The electric car venture, Faraday Future, faces lawsuits from contractors who say they haven’t been paid. “The Great Wall” bombed in the United States, though it did well in China.

如今,乐视正在后退。周二,它表示,因为“监管方面的阻力”,与Vizio这笔价值20亿美元的交易将不会继续下去。它支持的电动汽车企业Faraday Future面临着承包商的诉讼,他们称自己未能得到报酬。《长城》虽然在中国表现不错,但在美国遭到惨败。

China, home of the world’s largest group of internet users, has become a global technology leader. Its internet companies are some of the biggest in the world. Silicon Valley studies how Chinese consumers use their smartphones for everything from ordering takeout to taking out loans.

中国拥有世界上最大的互联网用户群体,已成为全球技术领袖。它的互联网公司可跻身于世界上最大的几家公司。硅谷在研究中国消费者如何使用智能手机完成从点外卖到贷款的各种事务。

LeEco shows how the Chinese tech world can also get ahead of itself. Businesses like ride-hailing, bike-sharing and delivery services have expanded quickly, sometimes leading to dramatic retreats. In a country flush with optimistic venture-capital investors and a lot of other cash sources, money often goes to the company that makes the grandest prediction — putting intense pressure on that company to follow through.

乐视表明中国科技界也有可能过分超前了。从事网络约车、共享单车和快递服务的企业在迅速扩张,这有时也会导致大举撤退。在一个充斥着乐观的风险投资者以及大量其他现金来源的国家,金钱往往会被做出最宏伟预期的公司所得到——这为后来的公司带来了很大的压力。

LeEco’s vision was certainly grand. As a holding company with a stake in the publicly traded Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corporation, LeEco was once just one of a number of Chinese online video streaming companies. But its founder, Jia Yueting, invested in a dizzying array of new business lines — movie production, smart TVs and phones, sports broadcasting and goods, electric cars and car sharing, cloud computing and online finance.

乐视的愿景肯定是宏大的。作为持有上市公司乐视网信息技术公司股份的控股公司,乐视曾经是中国众多的在线视频流媒体公司之一。但其创始人贾跃亭投资了一系列令人眼花缭乱的新业务——电影制作、智能电视和手机、体育转播和商品、电动汽车和共享汽车、云计算和网络金融。

The conglomerate embarked on a string of debt-financed acquisitions, including stakes in the Chinese electronics companies Coolpad Group and TCL Multimedia. LeEco also acquired the car sharing start-up Yidao Yongche.

该集团开始进行一系列债务融资收购,其中包括中国电子产品生产商酷派集团(Coolpad Group)和TCL多媒体(TCL Multimedia)的股权。乐视还收购了共享汽车初创公司易到用车。

Mr. Jia adopted a high profile. He publicly pledged to take on Apple and Tesla and began wearing black hoodies and black long-sleeve shirts like the tech icons of Silicon Valley, adopting just the initials YT in contacts with his employees. Regarding Apple, last year he said the iPhone maker’s pace of innovation had become “extremely slow.”

贾跃亭一向高调。他公开宣称会接受苹果和特斯拉的挑战,并开始像硅谷的那些标志性科技人物那样穿黑色帽衫和黑色长袖衫,和员工联系时只写自己名字的缩写YT。关于苹果,去年他曾说这个iPhone制造商的创新速度已经变得“非常缓慢”。

The year before that, Mr. Jia posted an image to one of his social media accounts comparing Apple to Hitler, though he later apologized.

再往前一年,贾跃亭用他的一个社交媒体帐户发表了一张图片,把苹果同希特勒进行比较,尽管他后来道了歉。

LeEco — a name that links its Chinese name Le with the word ecology, representing Mr. Jia’s dream for a range of interconnected gadgets and services — also began looking abroad.

“LeEco”这个名字将它的中文名称“乐”(Le)与“生态”(ecology)联系起来,代表了贾跃亭发展一系列相互关联的小工具与服务的梦想,公司也开始寻求海外发展。

In the United States, Mr. Jia made an undisclosed investment in Faraday Future, a Los Angeles-based electric car start-up that later announced a $1 billion car plant in North Las Vegas. LeEco acquired Dichotomy, run by the Hollywood insider Adam Goodman, and a LeEco affiliate, Le Vision Pictures, said it would cofinance “The Great Wall.” The acquisition of Vizio, one of the largest sellers of televisions in the United States, was set to give LeEco a solid foothold in the world’s largest consumer market.

在美国,贾跃亭对位于洛杉矶的电动汽车初创公司Faraday Future进行了具体数额未公开的投资,后来该公司宣布将在北拉斯维加斯建造一个价值10亿美元的汽车厂。乐视收购了由好莱坞内部人士亚当·古德曼(Adam Goodman)经营的公司Dichotomy,乐视的分公司乐视影业称它将联合为《长城》融资。Vizio是美国最大的电视销售商之一,收购这家公司将使乐视在世界上最大的消费市场站稳脚跟。

Those dreams sent the shares of Leshi Internet soaring in 2015, and made Mr. Jia one of China’s richest men on paper, according to the Hurun Report, which tracks the country’s wealthy.

根据跟踪调查中国富人情况的“胡润报告”,这些梦想令乐视网的股票在2015年出现飙升,并使贾跃亭成了中国最富有的人之一。

But the pace of deals began to take a toll. A rising group of Chinese companies, including the longtime telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, ramped up competition in smartphones, while LeEco faced well-funded rivals in areas like video streaming.

但交易的步伐开始遭遇阻力。包括长久以来的电信巨头华为技术公司在内的中国企业在不断崛起,智能手机领域内的竞争在加剧,而乐视在视频流等领域也面临着资金雄厚的竞争对手。

Mr. Jia acknowledged last fall that his LeEco conglomerate was overextended and was running out of cash. At a meeting in November to reassure investors, he stressed the importance of the American market and said LeEco offered a way to change minds about China.

贾跃亭在去年秋天承认,他的乐视集团已经过度扩张,现金不足。在11月的一次安抚投资者的会议上,他强调了美国市场的重要性,并表示乐视有望改变外界对中国的印象。

“They think China’s companies are copycats, plagiarists, incapable of big innovation,” he told the audience in Beijing, according to a publicly filed transcript of the event, acknowledging that further debt financing would be harder to come by. “On the contrary, this is a country with heroic companies.”

“他们认为中国的企业都是跟随者、抄袭者,很难做出大的创新,”跟据公开发表的会议发言记录,他在北京的活动中对观众说,会中他承认进一步的债务融资将难以实现。“恰恰这是个有许多英雄公司的国家”。

In the first nine months of 2016, the conglomerate’s mobile affiliate alone posted an $820 million loss on $1.6 billion of revenue, according to investor materials seen by The New York Times.

根据《纽约时报》得到的投资者资料,2016年的前9个月,仅仅该集团的移动业务分公司便亏损了8.2亿美元,其收入是16亿美元。

In January, the conglomerate appeared to secure a lifeline with a $2.2 billion investment from Sunac China, a real estate developer, which purchased minority stakes in three of the conglomerate’s more stable businesses, including the smart TV affiliate Leshi Zhixin, Le Vision Pictures, and Leshi Internet.

一月份,集团似乎得到了一根救命稻草,从房地产开发商融创中国(Sunac China)那里获得了一项价值22亿美元的投资,融创中国在该集团三项较稳定的业务中购买了少数股权,其中包括智能电视分公司乐视致新、乐视影业和乐视网。

Other businesses face challenges: Electric cars are years away from mass production, and the smartphone market remains intensely competitive.

其他业务则面临挑战:电动汽车距离量产还有数年时间,智能手机市场的竞争依然激烈。

It is not clear whether LeEco’s retreat on Vizio was related to its financial problems. Chinese officials, worried about money moving out of the country, have grown skeptical of some foreign acquisitions, even as they welcome others. A spokeswoman for LeEco declined to offer details on the deal beyond an emailed statement that said LeEco and Vizio would form a collaborative partnership instead.

乐视在Vizio一事上的撤退是否与其财务问题有关,目前尚不清楚。中国官员担心货币流出海外,对一些涉外收购愈来愈持怀疑态度,即使他们欢迎了某一些对外收购。乐视的一位发言人拒绝透露电子邮件声明之外的细节,该声明宣布乐视和Vizio将建立合作伙伴关系。

In a California state court in Los Angeles, Faraday Future has faced lawsuits by five contractors and others over payment and contract issues, though three of the suits have been settled or dismissed. Faraday Future has said it will defend itself against suppliers that failed to honor their contractors, and that it will still build the North Las Vegas plant, albeit in phases.

在洛杉矶的加利福尼亚州法院,Faraday Future先后面临五个承包商和其他人的付款及合同问题诉讼,尽管其中三宗已得到解决或驳回。Faraday Future表示,它将保护自己,与那些不遵守承包协议的供应商做斗争,并且仍将建设北拉斯维加斯的工厂,只不过要分阶段进行。

LeEco’s own suppliers have grown antsy. On Monday in Beijing, a dozen people who said they worked for unpaid suppliers held a sit-in in the lobby of LeEco’s office tower. They were escorted into the company’s offices before they could be interviewed.

乐视自己的供应商已经变得坐立不安。周一在北京,十几个人说他们为乐视供应商工作,没有获得报酬,在乐视办公楼的大厅里举行了静坐。他们随后被带进公司的办公室,记者没来得及对他们进行采访。

In January, workers from Tianjin Hong Furui Electronics, a company LeEco contracted for after-sales cellphone repairs, sat on a patch of grass in front of LeEco’s office tower to protest.

一月份,承包乐视手机售后维修的天津泓福瑞电子公司的工作人员在乐视办公楼前的草地上静坐抗议。

“They delayed our payments four or five months,” said Jacky Yu, an employee in Hong Furui’s sales department, adding that the bill totaled roughly $850,000 to $1 million.

“他们有四五个月没付我们钱了,”泓福瑞销售部门的员工杰基·于(Jacky Yu)表示,并称欠款总额大概在85万至100万美元之间。

By March, the company had been paid and declined to comment further.

到三月份,该公司已得到付款,并拒绝做出进一步评论。

The LeEco spokeswoman said the company had already solved some payment problems and was working on others.

乐视的发言人表示,公司已经解决了一些欠款问题,并在其他方面开展工作。

“LeEco’s earlier financial problems have already been systematically resolved,” she said in the emailed statement. “Previous supplier problems are being resolved through multifaceted and innovative methods.”

“乐视此前面临的资金问题已经得到系统解决,”她在一份电子邮件声明中表示。“此前的供应商问题正在通过多种合作创新的方式进行解决。”

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