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5G networks

ZTE chief touts 200 global partners for 5G at Shanghai expo

Chinese telecom equipment maker jumps on opening left by rival Huawei's troubles

A ZTE booth at a Guangzhou expo: The Chinese company has sharply expanded its 5G business since the U.S. lifted crippling sanctions last July. (Photo by Takashi Kawakami)

SHANGHAI -- ZTE has forged 5G-related tie-ups with more than 200 companies worldwide, President Xu Ziyang said Thursday, in a sign that the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker is rebounding from the U.S. sanctions that nearly sank it last year.

ZTE will supply efficient mobile networks to partners in various industries as the company looks to further the development of fifth-generation wireless, Xu said in a speech at the MWC Shanghai technology conference.

The company announced a memorandum of understanding on 5G deployment last week with state-owned Telekomunikasi Indonesia, the Southeast Asian country's largest carrier. In China, Xu noted partnerships with Tencent Holdings and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Since Washington removed trade sanctions on ZTE last July, the Chinese company has moved quickly to expand its 5G operations while compatriot Huawei Technologies has come under intense overseas scrutiny for its 5G gear. ZTE has used low prices to draw more business in Asia and elsewhere, and Xu said the company has received more 5G base station orders in Europe.

The U.S. had imposed the restrictions on ZTE after finding the company violated sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

MWC Shanghai is Asia's largest mobile event. This year's edition has drawn more than 550 companies from inside and outside China, including wireless carriers and telecom equipment makers.

China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie said that the carrier has more than 500 partners in 5G and will work to accelerate the global development of related industries.

China leads the world in 5G, said Frank Meng, chairman of U.S. chip company Qualcomm's Chinese operations, adding that Qualcomm will work with Chinese companies and seize this chance for growth.

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