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China's Leshi warns of $1.8bn net loss amid LeEco cash crunch

Shares retreat further on news of first post-listing drop into red

DALIAN, China -- Leshi Internet Information & Technology expects to report an 11.6 billion yuan ($1.84 billion) net loss for the year ended Dec. 31, sending its shares limit-down for a sixth straight session.

A statement released by the video-streaming company, a unit of Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco, showed an estimated 3.7 billion yuan loss from operations, owing to factors including lower advertising revenue and a drop in subscribers. Leshi also reported roughly 3.5 billion yuan in planned write-downs on financial assets and intangible assets such as film broadcasting rights.

The loss also includes a 4.4 billion yuan reserve against bad debt owed by LeEco group companies. The conglomerate's rapid diversification into such fields as televisions and electric cars has left it strapped for cash.

This would mark Leshi's first net loss since its 2010 listing. The company booked a 550 million yuan net profit in 2016.

Leshi's Shenzhen-listed shares have plunged by the 10% daily limit each trading day since a roughly 9-month halt was lifted Jan. 24. The stock closed at 8.15 yuan on Wednesday, well below the original offering price of about 29 yuan.

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