ZTE puts the accent on North America

Updated: 2013-03-01 10:09

By Shen Jingting in Barcelona, Spain (China Daily)

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ZTE puts the accent on North America

A model displays a ZTE panel computer at an international telecom equipment expo in Singapore. The Chinese telecom equipment and mobile phone vendor has attached increasing importance to the overseas market for future growth. [Photo/Xinhua]

Telecom equipment vendor spins off business group dedicated to region

ZTE Corp, the Chinese telecom equipment and mobile phone vendor, has underlined the importance of the North American market by spinning off a separate business group dedicated to the region.

The newly established North American Business Group will report to ZTE's core management, and be headed by Cheng Lixin, senior vice-president of ZTE Corp and the chief executive officer of ZTE (USA) Inc.

"Despite setbacks we encountered in the United States, ZTE still achieved significant progress in the market," Cheng told China Daily on Wednesday during the 2013 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona.

The majority of ZTE's US sales come from its mobile terminal business.

It became the fifth-largest terminal vendor in the US by shipments last year, with a market share of about 5 percent, behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Apple Inc, LG Electronics and Motorola Inc, he added.

"Two years ago, ZTE did not even make the top 10 (in the US market)," he said.

ZTE has launched more than 30 mobile phone models in the US since 2009, and plans to step up the pace this year with another 20, Cheng added.

All the major US telecom carriers, including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, have cooperated with ZTE in selling its handsets.

However, officials have admitted that recent US investigations into Chinese telecom companies have had some negative effects on its reputation in the market.

"ZTE's telecom equipment business with US carriers is still small, and we are waiting for further opportunities," Cheng said.

"For now, we are focused on promoting our terminal businesses."

He Shiyou, executive vice-president of ZTE, previously said he had set a target for its terminal shipments in the US to surpass those in the Chinese market by 2015.

"We experienced rapid growth in US revenue last year, and we hope to maintain a steady growth in 2013," Cheng said, without disclosing exact figures.

However, he said that the US market is huge, and is now the leader in developing fourth generation (4G) LTE networks, as well as in developing its mobile Internet industry.

Over the past six years, wireless data traffic has increased 750 fold in the United States.

"I predict the figure will continue growing another 300 fold over the next six years," Cheng said.