As we reported on yesterday, ZTE has gone ahead with the managerial changes that were slated to happen today. They have named the current Chief Technology Officer, Zhao Xianming, as their new president. This is effective immediately. And he will be replacing Shi Lirong, who was president since 2010. In the shakeup, the company did appoint seven executive vice presidents. Only three of ZTE’s top management were dropped in this shakeup. Which include Shi, Tian and Qiu all of which were involved in violating the US export sanctions on Iran. Which came to light in the past few weeks. Now this reshuffle isn’t due to the export ban that ZTE received last month from the US government, ZTE routinely shakes up their management about every 3 years. And it’s just that time.
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However, while shake ups are frequent at the Chinese company, a high-level change like this is more than likely due to the US export restrictions. This came from Kang Rongping, who is the director at the Institute for World Chinese Business at the think tank Center for China & Globalization. Kang also mentioned that ZTE “hasn’t been doing too well” in recent years. And that this export restriction made an already bad situation even worse for the company. As mentioned, Shi, who is the outgoing president at ZTE, had the job for about six years. Tian had been an executive vice president since 2005, Qiu was executive vice president since 2007. All of which appear to be out the door. According to the ZTE stock exchange filing in 2015, their terms were for three-year periods, and can be renewed, but it appears that they won’t be renewed this time around.
ZTE is having a bit of trouble with the US government right now. But the government had eased the export ban on ZTE’s products in recent weeks, which will last through June. It’s also been said that the government can further ease the ban if ZTE cooperates with the government on the matter. Something that would be a good idea for ZTE to do. Currently, ZTE is the fourth largest supplier of prepaid smartphones in the US. Of course, they are looking to become one of the larger players in the US, but this export ban is not going to help them with that.