(Yicai Global) Jan. 21 -- Leshi Internet Information & Technology, one of China's largest online video streaming firms, expects its annual loss to widen almost threefold, and is calling on founder Jia Yueting to honor his repeated promises to repay billions in debt that he saddled the company with.
Leshi anticipates a loss of about CNY11.3 billion (USD1.6 billion) for last year, compared with CNY4.1 billion in 2018, the Beijing-based company said in an earnings update yesterday.
Leshi, the Shenzhen-listed arm of embattled tech firm LeEco, is facing mounting lawsuits to repay CNY9.8 billion that Jia borrowed in its name in 2016 to finance sister companies LeTV Sports Culture Develop, a sports event media platform, and cloud computing unit LeCloud. There is also Jia's personal debt of CNY2 billion that remains unresolved.
Leshi had CNY21.7 billion of debt as of the third quarter, the company said. The firm had its Shenzhen listing suspended in May and now faces a massive debt default caused by extreme cash flow constraints as debt management stalls.
Jia fled China for the US in 2017 to escape the mounting debt crisis at his Chinese businesses and to focus on developing his new energy vehicle startup Faraday Future. Last October he filed for personal bankruptcy and debt restructuring in the US with liabilities of over USD3.6 billion, claiming to have repaid USD3 billion of it, which Leshi strenuously denies.
Editor: Kim Taylor