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We’ll ‘very soon’ be up there with Apple and Samsung, says ZTE Mobile chief

Chinese multinational telecoms firm ZTE aims to become a top tier smartphone seller across the globe "very soon," fighting against giants such as Apple and Samsung.

The smartphone maker, which has struggled to convince consumers with its brand, has adopted a twofold strategy to stir up competition in the market. Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices, told CNBC that the brand is focused on innovation and in hearing and delivering what consumers want.

"We are now focused on different strategic markets, China, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific … We are confident we will be in the top tier smartphone venders in the world … Now that we are moving from (4G) to 5G, which requires a lot of investment, technology and innovation, that is ZTE 's strength," Lixin Cheng said on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia, in Shanghai.

People at ZTE's booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017.
Paul Hanna | Reuters
People at ZTE's booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017.

However, Cheng didn't mention a defined date for such goal. "We will be very fast, faster than you think," he said.

ZTE has recently failed to come close to rivals like Apple, Samsung and fellow Chinese firm Huawei. The most recent data from research firm IDC saw ZTE outside of the top five smartphone vendors in terms of market share. According to Counterpoint Research, it is eight biggest smartphone maker in the world.