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ZTE eyes global job cuts

Reports suggest up to 3,000 jobs could be slashed globally

Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer, ZTE, is reportedly on track to cut around 3,000 jobs from its global workforce.

According to Reuters, the company is moving to slash up to five per cent of its 60,000-strong worldwide staff-base, with its global handset operation – focused mainly in China – set to see around 10 per cent of its numbers, equating to about 600 staff, go.

While ZTE’s Chinese ranks look set to be hardest hit in the potential lay-offs, Reuters reported that a local manager in one of the company’s international offices said his department was given a quota to shed 10 per cent of its staff by the end of January.

"I was also given names that must go because they had tried to apply for jobs at (rival) Huawei and are therefore branded as 'unstable factors'," said the manager, according to Reuters.

It is unclear whether the company’s operations in Australia and New Zealand will be affected by the potential staff cuts.

As of November last year, ZTE claimed around 5.2 per cent of Australia’s mobile phone market share, with the company increasing its channel partners locally.

The reports of ZTE’s proposed job cuts emerge after the United States’ Commerce Department moved to implement trade restrictions on the company in March last year, alleging at the time that it had violated US technology sanctions on Iran. The US subsequently provided temporary trade sanctions relief to ZTE.

In August, the US government extended the lifting of the trade sanctions against ZTE, as the company worked with US suppliers and authorities in a bid to resolve the issues.

ZTE had not responded to ARN’s queries at the time of writing.