LeEco founder ordered back to China

China Plus Published: 2017-12-26 16:05:50
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Securities regulators have ordered Jia Yueting, co-founder of Chinese tech giant LeEco, to return to China to fulfill his responsibilities as the de facto controller of the company.

This is the second time authorities have publicly called on him to return to China to handle his debt issues.

LeEco CEO Jia Yueting speaks at an event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. [File photo: AP]

LeEco CEO Jia Yueting speaks at an event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. [File photo: AP]

A circular issued by Beijing's securities regulator has ordered him to return before the end of 2017.

"You have stayed out of the country for a long time, claiming to be involved in auto investment negotiations. The companies you control have not paid off their massive debts. This has begun to encroach on your investors' legal rights and has resulted in very negative social impacts," reads the circular.

Jia Yueting was hit with a similar request to return to China in September, to which he reportedly did not respond.

Earlier this month, the LeEco chief was officially listed as a defaulter for failing to comply with court orders. This has limited him from purchasing flights and train tickets, or making hotel bookings and high-end purchases.

Jia Yueting has been in the United States since July, suggesting he's been working on an auto manufacturing deal. Since then he's resigned as the chair of LeEco's main listed unit, LeShi Internet Information and Technology.

LeEco's assets, as well as Jia and his wife's personal cash, were frozen by the courts in Shanghai earlier this year, with warnings of a "far worse than expected" cash crunch. The frozen assets are worth some 1.237 billion yuan (182 million US dollars).

Jia Yueting has been pleading for more time to pay off his debts.

LeEco creditors began cutting off the company from additional funding earlier this year amid concerns about the company's massive expansion and limited returns. 

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