Who Is ZTE & Why Are Rivals Running Scared?

July 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

The patient rise of the Chinese telecoms company is now putting the squeeze on its rivals. Read the extract from my latest feature for TrustedReviews and find a link to the full article at the bottom.


Who Is ZTE & Why Are Rivals Running Scared?

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 15 July 2011
Who on earth is ZTE? Tech fans may have some idea, but to the general public the company remains just another random acronym. It soon won’t be…On Thursday ZTE started revealing its master plan. The Chinese telecoms giant announced its first self branded products would be sold in the UK. It followed this up in proclaiming that by 2015 it will be the world’s third largest phone maker. In 3 ½ years it believes only Nokia and Samsung will be selling more handsets.  For a company most people haven’t heard of that’s a big claim, yet for its rivals it is also a hugely concerning one.


To understand why requires a small history lesson. ZTE was founded in Shenzhen (HQ pictured) back in 1985 by Hou Weigui. It rose from a group of state-owned enterprises with ties to the government’s Ministry of Aerospace and specialised in telecoms. In 1997 it had its first IPO on the Shenzhen stock exchange with a second on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2004. By this point it was the second largest telecoms equipment vendor in China, selling base stations, switches, software, broadband networking gear and handsets.

That year sales grew 35 per cent to $4.1bn, but more importantly it took advantage of China’s growing relations with the West to begin exporting heavily around the world. By the end of 2004 exports had skyrocketed 170 per cent. And you still hadn’t heard of them. The reason why is… READ ON

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