Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
LeEco founder Jia Yueting speaks at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 3, 2017.
After a tumultuous year which saw Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco fall from grace, the company’s billionaire founder was recently dealt yet another blow.
Jia Yueting, LeEco’s founder, was added to a nationwide list of debt defaulters after he failed to obey a court order, local newspaper China Daily reported on Tuesday.
Jia hasn’t turned over to Ping An Securities Group the roughly 477 million yuan ($72 million) he was ordered to pay by a Beijing court on Sept. 28, according to information available on a public database. Jia’s name and ID number were also included in the database entry.
That database, which is maintained by the Supreme People’s Court, blacklists individuals and corporations that have failed to repay their debts. It was launched in 2013 as part of China’s attempt to encourage rule of law.
Those whose names are logged into the system can face a host of restrictions, including air travel bans, for failing to obey court judgments.
Representatives from LeEco did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The company, which sold everything from televisions to electric vehicles, once had grand ambitions of taking on U.S. tech giants. LeEco pushed ahead with a large-scale U.S. expansion in 2016.
Its dreams for global domination crumbled, however, when it became apparent that the company faced serious cash flow issues.
In July this year, Jia stepped down from his position as chairman of LeShi Internet Information and Technology — LeEco’s main listed unit — so that he could focus on LeEco’s automobile unit. He promised to repay debts owed by the company.
It’s unclear whether the latest development will have an effect on Jia, who is reported to be based in the U.S. He has not appeared publicly in China since March, online new site Quartz reported.