The smartphone market remains as competitive as ever and tough times call for tough measure. According to industry sources, ZTE is preparing to shed some 3,000 jobs after seeing a drop in its share of the Chinese handset market.
Allegedly, ZTE plans to cut around 10 percent of its handset workforce in China, which equates to around 600 jobs. A manager at one of the company’s overseas branches also states that his department will lose around 10 percent of its staff by the end of January as well, so the cuts appear to be widespread.
The news compounds recent troubles for ZTE. The US Commerce Department has been holding off on a ban on exports from US companies to ZTE, after the company allegedly broke a sales sanction placed on Iran. The ban has not yet gone ahead due to a series of reprieves, the latest of which expires at the end of February, but the uncertainty has been weighing heavily on the company. If the ban is ever enforced, ZTE could face severe problems with is supply chain, as US companies like Qualcomm and Intel are essential for around a third of the components sourced by the manufacturer.
During his New Year speech, chairman Zhao Xianming allegedly stated that the company had “encountered its biggest crisis in its 31 year history” in 2016. The company is looking to streamline, see restructure, its management operations in order to improve profitability. We’ll just have to see how these cuts end up impacting the company’s smartphone business.