ZTE Corporation is a global leader in telecommunications and information technology. Founded in 1985, ZTE is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.
ZTE operates in three business units: carrier networks (54%), terminals (29%) and telecommunication (17%), their core products being wireless, exchange, access, optical transmission, and data telecommunications gear; mobile phones; and telecommunications software.
It also offers products that provide value-added services, such as video on demand and streaming media. ZTE primarily sold products under its own name, but it is also an OEM. ZTE is one of the top five largest smartphone manufacturers in its home market.
As with Huawei, the company has faced criticism in the United States over potential ties to the Chinese government that could enable surveillance. In 2017, ZTE was fined for illegally exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violations of economic sanctions. In April 2018, after the company failed to properly reprimand the employees involved, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned U.S. companies (semiconductors) from exporting to ZTE for seven years. The ban was lifted in July 2018 after ZTE replaced its senior management, and agreed to pay additional fines and establish an internal compliance team for 10 years. In June 2020, the Federal Communications Commission designated ZTE a national security threat, thereby barring it from any U.S. subsidies.