President and CEO of ZTE USA, Lixin Cheng, who heads up the North American arm of ZTE’s mobile business has now been appointed as ZTE’s global President of Mobile, according to a new report out of Reuters. While the confirmation has not been officially announced by ZTE yet, Reuters reports that it has been confirmed by the company. This essentially means the head of ZTE’s mobile arm in the US has now been upscaled to take control of ZTE’s global mobile operations going forward.
One of the reasons being suggested for this move is that in the face of consistent and ongoing issues for ZTE, the US side of the mobile business has managed to remain in favor. In fact, ZTE occupies a decent position in the US (and in particular in the prepaid and unlocked markets) and it is thought that could be why Cheng has been selected for the move. With ZTE hoping Cheng will be able to translate the success had with the US side of the business to its global operations. While ZTE had managed to perform well in the US, it is understood that the Chinese manufacturer has faced a slowing of sorts in its domestic market, with continued competition faced from large Chinese smartphone manufacturers at the higher end of the market, and emerging budget and affordable vendors at the other end of the market.
Of course, the fact that ZTE has managed to do so well in the US as a Chinese manufacturer, is also further highlighted by the lack of other Chinese manufacturers able to replicate the success and establish a foothold in the US. LeEco are one of the most recent Chinese companies to debut in the US and is already facing tremendous pressure. Likewise, while companies like Xiaomi have long been rumored with preparing for a greater US presence, it has yet to materialize in any meaningful manner. ZTE’s success in this respect, is likely to be another of the aspects that has played to Cheng’s advantage when being considered for the recently-vacated global position. Not only has ZTE USA managed to establish a presence in the US, but as importantly, has managed to maintain its presence.