China's LeEco has lost the chief of its Uber-style ride-hailing operation Yidao after a stormy showdown between the heads of the two companies, in the latest blow to the cash-strapped media and technology group.
LeEco, founded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting in 2004, made a splash on China's tech scene but has stumbled since, running up almost Rmb19bn ($2.7bn) in debts that have forced it to cancel several deals, including the planned purchase of television maker Vizio.
The exit of Zhou Hang as Yidao chief was confirmed by the company on Tuesday after a fiery war of words between him and LeEco. The exit followed allegations from Mr Zhou late on Monday that LeEco had "misappropriated" Rmb1.3bn of Yidao's funds to cover LeEco's debts, leaving Yidao unable to repay its own borrowings.
"As Yidao's founder and representing its original founding group and all of its clients, I strongly call on Yidao's effective controller — LeEco's Mr Jia Yueting — to prioritise his social responsibility and properly handle Yidao's problems," wrote Mr Zhou in a statement published on his social media accounts.
Mr Jia, LeEco's outspoken chief executive, said in an open letter in November that his company had expanded too quickly, burning through cash at an unsustainable pace.