Only through consistent grinding does a sword sharpen – Zhao Xianming, CEO, ZTE


Business Rejuvenation through Persistent Evolution

To all ZTE colleagues,

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, I am both honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this company towards new horizons in my newly appointed role.

The journey ahead will be built on the foundation of our predecessors and driven by relentless motivation and determination. Our constant pursuit of innovation, which is our guiding force, sets the expectation benchmark from our colleagues, investors, customers, partners and industry peers.

“Only through consistent grinding does a sword sharpen.”

Since our founding days, ZTE has overcome many obstacles on the road towards becoming the world-class enterprise we are today. We have never baulked at challenges, nor have we given up in the face of adversity. Our natural character behavior is to use challenges as motivation. You may have read various articles in the media about ZTE recently. I can assure you that we have been transparent and proactive in addressing any issues, and with the support of different parties, the situation is being resolved. At this juncture, we must take time to rethink. We will be taking extra measures to ensure that legal compliance and anti-corruption processes eliminate any possibility of non-compliance. We will put practical measures in place to rebuild our operational philosophy and turn the challenges into opportunities.

I am proud that over the last 30 years we have become an industry and global leader, providing quality technology and services to more than 1 billion people globally. However, there are still endless possibilities for ZTE in content, big data networks, cloud computing, 5G, virtual reality and many other solutions. We will continue to lead and shape the market with our innovations. The responsibilities and missions for the new leadership team will be multifaceted.

We remain unchanged in our commitment to the M-ICT strategic direction, 2020 business plan, long-term corporate promises and our short-term goals, as well as employee incentives. We will also continue to revamp project management processes to drive efficiency.

To achieve this business evolution, we have to set the following goals:

Manage uncertainty through a results-orientated approach.

  • Combine short-term goals with long-term strategy, striking a balance between forward thinking and execution to strengthen the backbone of the business and to improve decision making.
  • Raise the standards and strengthen the assessment of management at all levels.
  • Identify clear goals for each level and strengthen strategic execution to achieve practical results. 

Seek advancements in the talent management process to unleash our people’s potential.  

  • Better incentive program for top talent.
  • Evaluate management performance based on implementation of operational best practices, as well as results.
  • Recognize professional competence and strengthen synergies to encourage better collaboration. 

Strengthen an innovative, can-do spirit in our corporate culture. 

  • Instill a can-do spirit of innovation within the ZTE culture through concrete actions in all aspects of everyday work.
  • Eradicate bureaucracy and top-down culture and promote a meritocracy.
  • Dare to criticize ourselves honestly, and be virtuous and hard-working with a strong sense of responsibility.
  • Be a responsible leader and be an employee who always embraces challenges and strives for best practices.
  • Innovation is neither an option nor empty talk – it is of the utmost importance. It is only by creating irresistible products that we can outmatch the competition.

I’d like to leave you with the following Chinese proverb: “The movement of heaven is ever vigorous, so a superior man must ceaselessly strive along.” If we go forward with courage, we will go further than we have ever done before. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.

I would like to thank the previous board of directors and management for their leadership and efforts in establishing solid market foundations. I would also like to thank all ZTE colleagues for their support and handwork to date. These special circumstances have tested us, but the new leadership is confident that with teamwork, determination and courage we will charter new journeys and see new horizons.

We will walk the path ahead together for an even better future.(The above statement is by ZTE Corp’s new CEO Zhao Xianming and was published in the firm’s website as marks its 30th anniversary)