ZTE will cut about 3,000 jobs, according to a story by Reuters. Citing company sources, the report indicates the workforce reductions will include a fifth of positions in its Chinese handset business. The reductions, if taken, would represent about 5% of ZTE's 60,000 employees worldwide.
The layoffs in the Chinese handset business could reach 600. The story quotes a senior executive of the company saying that this part of the business, which has been losing market share in China, will lose more than 20% of its current staff.
Another ZTE source told the paper that employees known to have applied for jobs at Huawei also will be among those let go.
The layoffs come as ZTE has faced the threat of export restrictions on U.S. parts (see "ZTE faces export sanctions from US Department of Commerce"). While the Department of Commerce has suspended enforcement of the restrictions numerous times (see, most recently, "U.S. grants ZTE another 90-day stay of export restrictions"), the uncertainty surrounding the restrictions – particularly now in light of an incoming new administration – has dampened ZTE's business. The most recent stay of the restrictions ends this February 27.
ZTE Chairman Zhao Xianming vowed in his New Year's speech to employees to take action against underperforming units or those that don't fit the company's strategic direction, Reuters added.
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