What is LeEco and why should you care?

Maybe you’ve heard of LeEco (nee LeTV). Maybe you’ve seen some news about the company’s phones or its plans to launch a car. If you live in the U.S., however, odds are pretty good that your knowledge of the company doesn’t extend beyond the occasional passing mention.

But the company’s big, and only getting bigger. Early today, research firm Strategy Analytics posted numbers charting the Chinese technology company’s recent growth. It’s a pretty impressive rise. Best known for its video streaming services (earning it the nickname “the Netflix of China”), the company is a fairly recent entrant into the smartphone space.

SA’s recent release forecast a growth of 541-percent in smartphone shipping from 2015 to 2016, rising from 3.9 to 25 million, qualifying it for the title of the “world’s fastest-growing major smartphone vendor.” Says the firm, “LeEco is clearly growing at a very rapid rate and the vendor is an emerging threat to mass-market smartphone rivals such as Alcatel, Huawei and Samsung.” And the company has India and the U.S. in its sights.

Tomorrow we’ll be hearing quite a bit about the latter, as the company takes to the stage at a press conference in San Francisco, detailing, among other things, plans to set up shop in Silicon Valley in a major way, with 12,000 hires and a 48-acre office complex purchased from Yahoo this summer at the cost of $250 million.

And LeEco has been planting other seeds for a stateside run, including the launching of an English language film production company and the purchase of Southern Californian budget TV maker Vizio. And then, of course, there’s its involvement with LA-based Faraday Future.

Tomorrow’s press conference will be live streamed, as well, should you want to tune in at home.