LeEco, Gree Come Unplugged After Drifting Too Far From Home

By Doug Young

(Beijing) — What do electric vehicles and smartphones have in common?

Both could well be the undoing of two of China's most visible high-tech executives and also even their companies — online video service provider LeEco, and air-conditioner maker Gree Electric Appliances Inc.

The two businesses have very different backgrounds, one starting as an internet video company and the other a traditional home-appliance maker. Each became a household name in its respective original specialty but has run into recent trouble for venturing too far from its core competency, including bets of $1 billion or more in areas where they had little or no experience.

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