By email@example.com (InfoseekChina)
(China Daily) Tech company LeTV Holdings Co Ltd recruited two former senior banking executives this week, highlighting a growing trend of top financial industry talent joining Chinese tech startups.
Wang Yongli, a former vice-president of Bank of China Ltd, has joined LeTV and will head its online financing service business, sources said on Tuesday. Wang was a top contender for the BOC chief’s post until his abrupt resignation in 2014. LeTV refused to comment on the matter because the appointment is yet to be made public.
Once announced, Wang will be the highest-level former State-owned bank executive to head an online financing service.
Also taking off his suit and tie for a Steve Jobs-style shirt and jeans is Winston Cheng, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s former Asian managing director overseeing investments in technology, media and telecom. He will be in charge of corporate financing, investment and acquisition matters for LeTV, as the Beijing-based firm expands from online video to smartphones, Internet TV and bicycle manufacturing.
Jia Yueting, founder and CEO of LeTV, said Cheng will help LeTV attract more overseas investors. Earlier this year, Jia said LeTV needs more investment and a better team of financial professionals to manage its rapidly growing businesses.
After launching its first-generation smartphone, LeTV introduced the 39,999 yuan ($6,250) “smart bikes” that can automatically track distances and location last week. The company is also preparing to build electric cars to compete against Tesla Motors Inc’s Model S.
Huang Leping, a Shanghai-based technology analyst at Nomura Securities Co, said the number of professionals leaving financial institutions for tech firms has been rising steadily.
“Many have left banks for Internet companies,” he said.
About 26 senior executives of Chinese banks have left their jobs this year for positions in Internet finance and other sectors, according to the Guangzhou-based newspaper Time Weekly.
The executives usually cite “personal reasons” for their resignations. Higher pay is obviously a better explanation as most of the Chinese tech startups receive increasingly generous investments and hence tend to offer huge salaries to lure talent.
A marketing director working for an Internet startup which is valued at more than $100 million told China Daily that the company is willing to triple the salary to hire an experienced chief financial officer from a top-tier investment bank.
“Such talent will help us tap into higher-end investors and boost our valuation ahead of an initial public offering,” the director said under condition of anonymity.
Chinese consumers’ growing appetite for Internet-related services may have also necessitated the job changes.
A number of high-profile job changes in recent years had proven that the multi-trillion-yuan Internet industry has caught the attention of some investment bank heads who are looking for a different career path.
Jean Liu, the former managing director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, joined Chinese car-hailing company Didi Dache a year ago. She is now president of Didi Kuaidi after a merger of Didi and Kuaidi Dache in February.
The top-most banker-turned-executive was Michael Evans. He was appointed as president of the world’s largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd earlier this month after leaving Goldman Sachs as vice-chairman prior to Alibaba’s initial public offering in 2014.
Universal cloud platform on cards
LeTV Holdings Co Ltd on Tuesday unveiled its cloud-computing strategy, pledging to build a global content distribution network that specializes in live video streaming.
Jia Yueting, chief executive of LeTV, said the company is aiming to build a cloud platform that is open to all. Content generators and viewers will be granted access for all the materials on the platform and be able to leave comments.
Jia said the cloud service will be free for LeTV’s international customers.
LeTV is offering a packaged solution for video websites so that they will be able to upload, live stream, change format and distribute video content to viewers around the globe. The Beijing-based company is also offering free video search and comment services.
It is LeTV’s latest move to expand in the online video sector where Xiaomi Corp is attempting to challenge the LeTV dominance. LeTV claims it has the largest video content in China while Xiaomi, by partnering with Youku Tudou Inc and other platforms, is also aspiring for the top slot.
Xiaomi and LeTV are also competing on smart TV sales, with the one that has more video content likely to emerge as the winner.
Source: China Daily by Gao Yuan
Source:: LeTV hires top financial talent