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China's ZTE expects to ship 20m smartphones to US this year

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An employee works on a communications equipment assembly line at a ZTE Corp. factory. Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp expects to ship 20 million smartphones to the United States this year, up 20 per cent from last year, the company's US Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Lixin Cheng told Reuters in an interview.

[HONG KONG] Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp expects to ship 20 million smartphones to the United States this year, up 20 per cent from last year, the company's US Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Lixin Cheng told Reuters in an interview.

Shenzhen-based ZTE's smartphone shipment to the US jumped more than 50 per cent in 2014, outpacing the company's global smartphone shipment growth of 20 per cent as it aims to become a top three smartphone vendor in the United States by 2017.

The company ranked No. 4 in the US handset market in the first quarter.

ZTE has been expanding its smartphone business overseas as it looks to become one of the top global handset manufacturers amid a slowdown in smartphone sales at home and the rise of domestic rival Xiaomi Inc.

An aggressive marketing campaign in the United States, including being the official smartphone sponsor of three US National Basketball Association teams, boosted shipments last year.

Mr Cheng said they would add to this in 2015 by forging a new partnership with at least one more NBA team.

REUTERS