ZTE considers localization as all-time strategy

Evan Wang, ZTE CEO, Middle East region.

Evan Wang, ZTE CEO, Middle East region.

For ZTE, localization is an all-time strategy. Since the company’s launch in Saudi 2004, ZTE has been training hundreds of local telecommunication talents and providing job opportunities for a large number of university students, said a top executive of the giant Chinese Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Middle East region,.

Evan Wang, ZTE’s CEO in the Middle East, told Arab News recently that ZTE has offered exchange programs to the Saudi talents with a view to encouraging them to study in China.

Currently, ZTE is in the process of forging cooperation with King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Abdul Aziz Center for Science and Technology (KACST) to build a research and development (R&D) center aimed at making the Kingdom the core of M-ICT in the Middle East.

The company recently unveiled here its smart city solutions (SCS), including M-ICT technology for public security and transportation, and data center. This covers a number of industries from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the government sector across the region.

According to Wang, the Saudization rate is ‘high green’ in the government system and the company welcomes more Saudi talents to join the M-ICT family.

“Localization is our target because if you would like to have good operations in a country you should have the local experts who could improve our business,” he said, adding that this is a very positive and matured outlook.

“We are very eager to recruit more Saudi people to work in our company. I would definitely increase the Saudi rate every year and hire more of them,” Wang noted.

“Our target for localization is to exceed 50 percent. If we can reach that kind of level that means our business will tend to boom with consistency,” he said.

He said ZTE Corporation is a major provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions globally.

With operations in 160 countries, the company is a leader in technology innovation delivering superior products and business solutions to clients all over the world.

Founded in 1985, ZTE is China’s largest listed telecoms equipment company.

Talking about the importance of the Saudi market, Wang said it is a very strategic market for all companies that are in the ICT industry.” Let me explain: First, it has resources rich enough to contribute to GDP. Second, it has the largest population compared to the other Gulf states.”

He said: “So, for the ICT industry, population means market space. If one million people purchase two handsets each, that means two million handsets. In other words, 29 million people here are equivalent to nearly 60 million handsets. The potential market in this ICT field is coherent with the population. These make the Saudi market potentially rich.”

He added: “Third, because of the economic development, there are many investments here and not only in ICT; there is investment in technology development. They utilize the technology for companies to be more effective.”

He said: “Now, the ITC technological operation is becoming paperless and this can help improve the company’s work efficiency and productivity. So, as you can see, big companies cannot be there without ICT.”

Wang added: “According to our statistics, in the global view, investment in the ICT field is almost 10 times, compared to traditional communication and telecommunication. That is why our company’s strategy has now transformed from CT to ICT, which means government enterprises.”

He said: “Fourth, this company is leading in the GCC countries, so if you can do business successfully in this country it will be very easy to penetrate into other countries. People here are looking for new technology, almost the same level in Europe and the United States. That technology is also being deployed here. “So, if we can do business here, this will be a good sample or good reference for other countries.”

For ZTE, Saudi Arabia is the center point for its business.

“We have different level of organizations from the geographical point of view. All ZTE executives look at the Saudi market as a strategic one,” he said.

He added: “It is well known that in this country we have three main operators – Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Mobily and Zain. Thus, our people in the Middle East engage and interface with customers.


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