Winning season for ZTE USA and Rockets

Updated: 2013-12-09 07:29

By May Zhou in Houston (China Daily USA)

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Thousands of fans at last Friday's Houston Rockets' game got more than the satisfaction of a decisive 105-83 win over the visiting Golden State Warriors. They also got a nice little holiday gift package, including a ZTE USA-Houston Rockets T shirt.

It's all part of the Season of Giving joint charity program benefiting Houston area kids. Prior to the game, Cheng Lixin, CEO of ZTE USA, the Chinese telecom giant's US branch, and Tad Brown, Houston Rockets CEO, talked about their joint program for the less unfortunate.

"ZTE USA has been in the United States since 1998, and it has always been our tradition to give back to the community and make some positive impact," Cheng said. "I am glad that the Houston Rockets and ZTE are like-minded and we have the opportunity to team up for this year's Season of Giving. The program gives local children an unforgettable experience with their favorite Rockets players and holiday gifts they might not otherwise receive."

Brown echoed Cheng's sentiments. "We have already given the kids a movie night, a holiday shopping spree with their favorite players. Some of the kids will also get to go bowling with players such as Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Patrick Beverley, Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi," Brown said.

As part of the program, more than 100 kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs, Casa de Esperanza and Kids Meals were attended a pre-Thanksgiving dinner on November 26 with Houston Rockets players and their families. After the meal, the kids watched a private screening of the newly released animated movie Free Birds on the center scoreboard screen at Toyota Center.

On Dec 3, ZTE and the Rockets brought scores of kids from the Boys and Girls Club together with Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, Francisco Garcia and Ronnie Brewer to go on a holiday shopping spree at Target. The kids raced through the aisles with the players to pick out their favorite toys and candies.

"It's more than the material gifts," Brown said. "The joy of being with the players is priceless to the kids."

According to Cheng, ZTE USA has been actively involved in local community charity work throughout the country. "We are the number four smartphone maker and we have 13 offices in the US. We pride ourselves on being socially responsible and we have been in the Fortune China CSR (corporate social responsibility) Top 10 ranking for the past two years," he said.

"We have sponsored cancer research in San Diego, supported a residential program in Kansas City, a Boys and Girls Club in Dallas, and more. Our employees also make charitable contributions to the community with their personal time to better the lives of people who are less fortunate," Cheng said.

In October, ZTE USA, based in Richardson, Texas, chose the Houston Rockets as its first corporate sponsorship and became the official smartphone of the Houston Rockets. The Season of Giving is an extension of that partnership. Both Cheng and Brown indicated that they will continue to partner in more charity works in the future.

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