By the end of 2016, the rapidly expanding firm had become a force of nature with a highly sophisticated structure. Aiming to build a totally integrated ecosystem — that could see proprietary content playing on LeEco apps hosted on a unique digital platform and played through the company's own hardware (ranging from phones to smart cars) — LeEco quickly developed 15 subsidiaries and 68 affiliated parties.
Additionally, while LeEco was still largely unknown to American customers and its services were not widely available until December, 2016, that didn't stop the company from building a stateside presence.
In June, 2016, the company bought 49 acres in Santa Clara from Yahoo and claimed plans to hire 12,000 local employees, aiming at building its global headquarters in Silicon Valley. For comparison, Facebook only houses just over 9,000 employees at its Menlo Park headquarters, while Google employs roughly 20,000 people in the Bay Area, according to reports from earlier this year.
"It's okay to be optimistic, but you can't exaggerate too much," said another former LeEco employee, who worked at the company's Hong Kong office last year.
"Other companies were all laughing at us," the former employee told CNBC in a phone interview, also requesting anonymity. "How do you jump from 200 jobs to more than 10,000 jobs by 2018? That's bigger than Facebook!"