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Handsets seller to move up sales table

ZTE Corp, the world's sixth-biggest seller of handsets, expects to be one of the top three phone vendors by 2013, thanks to booming 3G sales, the Shenzhen-based firm said yesterday in Beijing.

Meanwhile, it expects wireless equipment revenue will grow 30 percent year on year in 2009 despite the global financial crisis, due to strong demand in emerging markets.

In 2008, ZTE sold 45 million handsets compared to 31 million units the previous year. This year ZTE will launch more models with GPS, TV and video download functions.

"We have developed a unique way to explore the mobile phone market and it has proved effective," said Xiong Hui, ZTE's mobile phone unit head.

Unlike leading vendors such as Nokia and Motorola, ZTE's sales greatly depend on group purchase carriers China Unicom and Vodafone Hutchison Whampoa 3G.

"The handset firms with strong telecommunications backgrounds, like Huawei Technologies and ZTE, will have big opportunities as their products are regarded as better supporting the network," said Sandy Shen, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

As well as mobile phones, ZTE is to launch nine new products targeting consumers, including data cards, video monitors and netbooks with built-in 3G chipsets.

Shenzhen-listed ZTE jumped 3.17 percent to 35.42 yuan (US$5.28) compared to the 3.48 percent growth of the Shenzhen stock market.

In 2008, ZTE's revenue was 44.3 billion yuan, a 27.3-percent growth year on year. Of this, over 60 percent was from overseas markets.

Income from ZTE's wireless equipment reached 28.9 billion yuan in 2008, Jack Wu, ZTE's wireless market director, said.

"In a tough environment, people can give up luxury clothes or food but they can't do without phones," he said.



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