Introduction to ZTE Corporation

ZTE Corporation traces its roots in 1985 when it was founded in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in China, under the name of Zhongxing Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Today, the company is one of the leaders in its country, alongside head-to-head with its more renowned Shenzhen-based rival, Huawei Technologies. ZTE’s legacy lies in being one of the first high-tech and telecommunication corporations from China to bring its branded products to the global stage, now also serving as its foundation for success. Here, discover more about ZTE Corporation and how it prospered over the years.

ZTE Logo

The Beginning

A group of investors linked to the Ministry of Aerospace Industry of China established Zhongxing Semiconductor Co., Ltd in 1985. Eight years later, and with a 3 million Chinese Yuan capital, it shifted to a new business line. It became a partially state-owned economic entity specializing in telecommunications, resulting in the change of its designation to Zhongxing New Telecommunications Equipment Co., Ltd.

Despite being linked with the state, the company became listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, transforming to ZTE Corporation and making its IPO (initial public offering) in 1997 and the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges in 2004. Though ZTE became successful in the domestic market and reaped profits, its main draw in its 1997 IPO was to improve research and development, infiltrate the global stage, and establish overseas production while also developing different nations.

ZTE Office Building

The Breakthrough

Staying true to its vows, ZTE made its head start in the international area in 2006 and recorded a massive increase in procurement of code-division multiple access (CDMA) networks, leading the world in terms of shipment.

Not long enough, Telus Communications Inc. (TCI) from Canada became ZTE’s customer, followed by other customers in various countries in the subsequent years, such as Vodafone from the UK, Telstra in Australia, and Telefónica in Spain in 2007. Simultaneously, ZTE continued to make a new contract for its CDMA networks, and by 2008, ZTE was already serving about 140 nations, providing it a worldwide customer reach.

In 2009, ZTE also made a record in selling Global System for Mobiles (GSM) telecommunication equipment, ranking third globally and taking nearly 20% of market share. Adding to that, ZTE Corporation holds the prestige for producing and applying for patents at a rapid pace, entering the top 100 in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) rankings in 2006, jumping to 52nd in 2007 then 38th in 2008. It made its biggest achievement in 2010, ranking second globally, after placing 23rd in the previous year.

A ZTE phone

ZTE Today

Today, ZTE Corporation remains a frontrunner in the telecommunication and IT market. Pinning on its dedication to bestowing high-quality products and advancements from the biggest entities, like enterprises, government, businesses, to even the smallest consumers.

ZTE’s global competitiveness grew exponentially from its beginnings in 2006. As such, it has reached more than 160 countries, promising better productivity and connectivity and attaining desired innovations of its customers through wireline, wireless services, equipment, and devices.  

What’s remarkable is that ZTE has been consistent in its promise to allocate a margin of its profit on research and development to improve its global patent. That’s despite financial crises that occurred in recent years, allowing it to overtake many countries that held back on their R&D spending amidst economic mishaps. With that, ZTE has also established cutting-edge R&D centers in different parts of the world, allowing it to develop new products and services, and thrive in the global market.

ZTE booth

As part of the United Nations Global Compact, ZTE Corporation’s commitment to balancing its economic endeavors with environmental protections can also be seen. The company adapted measured to minimize its carbon emissions while also reaching maximum energy efficiency. Plus, ZTE also places a high value on its corporate social responsibility, ranking among the top 100 in Social Development Indexes.

Nevertheless, ZTE Corporation is far from perfect, being linked to different controversies that resulted in bans and fines in various countries. But, as the world goes through new eras in technology, its continued commitment to core competitiveness is valuable, and many significant lessons can be inferred from the corporation’s success in recent years.