Remember all the fuss about ZTE and Huawei spying for China? Well, in the aftermath of that a review ordered by the White House found no evidence that Huawei or ZTE had stolen any U.S. data. The worst finding was that Huawei’s network gear might have vulnerabilities which could be exploited by hackers, which might also account for the cheaper prices that won them government contracts in the first place.
In any case the espionage claims never had anything to do with the smartphone side of its business, although you can bet that the company’s public image in the U.S. was damaged as a result. Despite the setback ZTE confirmed its commitment to the U.S. market in a press release. The CEO, Lixin Cheng, said,
“ZTE is committed to the U.S. market and we look forward to continuing our investment and leveraging local talent to bring new innovations to consumers. We have already established partnerships with major carriers in the U.S. and believe that these cross-border relationships will ignite the development of new communication technologies and enlarge the application scale of our joint innovations, thus helping us continue to provide affordable, environmentally friendly products that enable consumers around the world to connect in meaningful ways.”
On top of the $30 million of extra investment ZTE is promising, there was also a reminder that the fast-growing Chinese manufacturer employs 300 people in the U.S. and 80 percent of them are American.
ZTE has traditionally been associated with budget smartphones, but we’re expecting the high-end Nubia line to bring quad-cores and 5-inch displays to the party. ZTE already announced the Z5 for China and we’ll find out what it has in mind for the rest of the world at CES.